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Issues:

Hired by Plaintiff's attorney to perform a code review of the building along with fire modeling as to how the fire spreading could have been prevented.

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Facts:

A fire was intentionally set by lighting a box of paper on fire. There were no other accelerants used. Due to the inadequate fire alarm system and blockage of escape routes, there were multiple injuries and 3 deaths.

Analysis:

Poole Fire Protection performed a review of the building to see how it compared to the B.O.C.A. codes, state fire codes and city fire codes. Poole Fire Protection also performed computer fire modeling to show a replica of the fire growth and development. The fire modeling represents a realistic timeline of the fire's growth.

Conclusion:

Poole Fire Protection has determined that the apartment complex was in violation of the Kansas codes by having exit paths being blocked, which accelerated the fire, not having the required exit signs, no emergency instructions to tenants, no emergency lighting. The apartment complex was also missing the required fire alarm system and had the wrong smoke detector system installed within the building. The apartment complex also violated the city's fire code by not having a working fire alarm and detection system. The buildings fell short of the B.O.C.A Codes with no fire alarm or sprinkler system.

If the Owners of the building would have had it inspected when purchased they would have been told to bring it up to code before occupancy. This would have fixed the aforementioned violations and prevented the injuries and deaths.

The case was settled in favor of the Plaintiffs and a notice was sent out to the tenants of the apartment complex stating the complex "does not comply with fire safety standards" and may not comply with the city's fire safety code". Tenant leases were not renewed and they were urged to find a new place to live.

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Jack Poole, PE, FSFPE, is a registered Professional Engineer in Fire Protection, licensed in over 50 states and territories. Principal of Poole Fire Protection, he is involved in the day-to-day activities of code consulting, life safety analyses, design of engineering alternatives, fire protection system design, and construction management services.

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