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jack11111
30th Dec 2017, 23:12
There has to be a special place in hell for a woman(mother) whose 3 year old unattended son lights the apartment up in flames playing with the stove, grabs said son and another child runs out leaving the apartment door open and the blaze races up the stairwell. Twelve people died including a serviceman home from basic training who saved 4 other people and then ran out of luck trying to save one more person.
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I wasn't going to post about this but I just heard about the serviceman and my eyes started to water.

westhawk
30th Dec 2017, 23:34
Yeah it's really bad what happened. Anyone with any conscience at all would experience some version of a hell-like existence after realizing they were complicit in causing such a tragedy to occur.

The soldier did what the best kind of soldier would do. I hope someone that is alive today due to his actions goes on to honor his memory by how they live.

That said, back to recriminations.

West Coast
31st Dec 2017, 01:16
I'd say the mother has paid a high price already.

Loose rivets
31st Dec 2017, 01:39
You can never tell. My neighbour, a very hands-on company director and family were cooking chips in a deep fry pan. It caught fire. They made the mistake of carrying it to the back door thinking it'd do no harm in the garden, but the bottom melted out of the pad onto a newly covered wooden floor.

No one hurt, but full fire service jobber - mostly due to not reducing the oxygen in the room. About minus one, for firefighting, but he ran a sizeable company very well.

james ozzie
31st Dec 2017, 06:23
Most hotel room/apartment front doors (in my experience) are fire doors with spring closers. It is not her fault that it did not close. But if it were not spring loaded, we can hardly criticize her for not closing it manually, as she was fleeing with 2 kids and would presumably have no knowledge of the building's fire compartmentalisation.

The holes in the cheese just lined up on this tragic day.

UniFoxOs
31st Dec 2017, 08:31
we can hardly criticize her for not closing it manually

Considering the time and effort it would have taken, I would tend to think it demonstrates a total state of panic which can cause the panicker to lose all thoughts of any responsibility to anyone else, or any potential effect of her actions.

We are not all clear-headed types, trained, like pilots, servicemen etc., to think clearly and respond appropriately to dangerous situations.

Sallyann1234
31st Dec 2017, 09:30
Comments to excuse leaving the door open are all very well, but ignore the salient point in the OP that the 3 year old was left unattended with the means to start the fire. That was the real error.

cattletruck
31st Dec 2017, 11:08
As greedy developers redefine high density living as the new norm these unfortunate incidents will become much more common. Although there was no flammable cladding involved in this instance the overall fuel equation (cheap furniture, fittings, etc) would have been on par as that of a typical hoarder.

meadowrun
31st Dec 2017, 14:44
Had one here last week. apartment complex.


"A large fire in Vancouver’s east end Wednesday was started by a teenager playing with matches.
A resident of one of the suites spoke to Global News and said her son accidentally set the laundry on fire." CTV


Watched an interview with the mother. Just kind of shrugged it off. Kids, you know. Too bad. Half the building (24 people +/-) homeless over the holidays.

lomapaseo
31st Dec 2017, 17:08
Comments to excuse leaving the door open are all very well, but ignore the salient point in the OP that the 3 year old was left unattended with the means to start the fire. That was the real error.

That reminds me of m own adventures with the stove at the age of 10. I managed to set the house on fire when some bread wrapping paper caught fire next to a burner and I rushed to the sink to pour water on it and the curtains caught fire and and and I ran outside to the neighbors screaming fire ....

Yup. I was alone in the kitchen ... as are many kids

and just to carry this a bit further, many pilots make mistakes and plane crashes do happen. ... Do we just blame it on the crew and order the airline to keep watch at all times.

The idea is to accept the inevitable human weakness and to provide mitigating factors against mistakes .... like fire dams, sprinklers, exits etc, etc.

tdracer
31st Dec 2017, 19:36
As greedy developers redefine high density living as the new norm these unfortunate incidents will become much more common. Although there was no flammable cladding involved in this instance the overall fuel equation (cheap furniture, fittings, etc) would have been on par as that of a typical hoarder.
Actually the opposite is true - modern building codes have far better fire protection than buildings built decades ago. I think the building in question was build roughly 100 years ago, while the flammable cladding tragedy involved material that was not to code when it was installed.

cattletruck
1st Jan 2018, 05:10
Agree that the building codes are safer as written td, but at the current rate of knots most dog boxes are being built means the inspectors are having trouble enforcing them.

Besides the flammable cladding issue, a batch of glass windows were fitted to one sky scraper that had not been heat "rested" with the end result being under certain weather circumstances they shatter unexpectedly.

Prosecution for non-compliance is limited and slow.

With some modern apartments, the walls are so thin you can force your way through them, in my 1930's era house they are double brick.

tdracer
1st Jan 2018, 08:22
Prosecution for non-compliance is limited and slow. While I'm generally against the current mentality of 'sue first, ask questions later", perhaps this is a positive aspect of that. On this side of the pond, if a developer builds and sells a building that doesn't meet code, as soon as the buyer discovers this he's going to get sued - and he's probably going to lose (pretty hard to justify not building to code).
Sadly, I have first hand experience with this from the buyer side - and while there is a lot of truth to the saying 'everyone loses but the lawyers' - the developer lost worse. It basically put him out of business...

Yamagata ken
1st Jan 2018, 08:23
When I were a lad, we had an AGA. This provided hot water, heat for the house in winter and when drawn up a hotplate for cooking.

At 10 years old, my daily (morning) task was to riddle it, empty the ash pan, load it with cobbles and close it down. In the evening (as first home from school) my job was to riddle the fire, empty the ashpan and open up the fire so Mum could cook when she got home from work.

At 10 I was responsible enough to eject an ashpan full of burning coals without setting fire to the home or the neighbourhood. Something's missing here. Maybe parental guidance and personal responsibility?

meadowrun
1st Jan 2018, 10:48
Something's missing here. Maybe parental guidance and personal responsibility?


Ken, you're such a nice guy but a bit too generous.
Two reasons for stuff like this - plain old accident, could happen to anyone.
+ plain old dumb ass stupidity.

Gertrude the Wombat
1st Jan 2018, 11:06
On this side of the pond, if a developer builds and sells a building that doesn't meet code, as soon as the buyer discovers this he's going to get sued - and he's probably going to lose (pretty hard to justify not building to code).
But why would they care about losing such a case? Do developers in your part of the world not work how they do here, setting up and bankrupting companies (having extracted any profits) regularly, so that there's nothing left to sue?

KelvinD
1st Jan 2018, 12:46
I remember, as a young lad in the Sea Scouts, an evening of lectures devoted to safety, given by representatives from the ambulance and fire services. The one message from the fireman that stuck in my mind over all those years was "accidents don't happen. They are caused".
Speaking of accidents and fires, how about the New Year's Eve spectacular in Liverpool last night? 1,400 vehicles destroyed in what may have been the city's biggest bonfire.

G-CPTN
1st Jan 2018, 12:58
how about the New Year's Eve spectacular in Liverpool last night? 1,400 vehicles destroyed in what may have been the city's biggest bonfire.

Sparked by one vehicle (Land Rover?) spontaneously bursting into flame - immediately reported to the Fire Services - so how did it get out of hand?

Was access 'difficult' for fire tenders?
What about dry risers?

MurphyWasRight
1st Jan 2018, 16:10
Without first hand knowledge of the events it also important to remember that reporters often add "color" to the known facts.

The few times I have read about events in the paper that I witnessed it was remarkable how even basic facts were mangled.

In this case I saw one article that stated as a fact that the child had a history of playing with the stove, somehow found that a bit hard to believe.

Three year olds can be very resourceful and have even been known to be awake when parents were sleeping.

One does have to wonder why turning on the stove would cause a fire, the true negligence may be more about storing flammables near or on the stove.

As to not closing the door on the way out, I suspect (at least until this hit the news) that a majority of people would not have known that this was truly important and would not be top of mind while escaping a fire.

I also read one survivors account of having to pull out a window air conditioner to escape.
That should never have been allowed since a primary rule is to always have two means of egress which sady appears to not have been true for many.

RatherBeFlying
1st Jan 2018, 17:23
Current codes generally require a fire rated door and automatic closer at the entrance to each unit.

Critical items can be mandated retroactively.

People in panic 'situations often perform poorly.

Blackfriar
1st Jan 2018, 18:18
Fire safety is one of several areas that IMHO requires an "outside eye" approach to regulation. It needs to have someone independent inspect and adjudicate on compliance in the build and operation.
Recently we have had major cuts to the Fire Service, partly justified by the reducing number of fires, but what happpens when there are none? Do we disband the Fire Service until someone dies and suddenly invent it again?

My suggestion is that the Fire Brigade/Service becomes a Fire Prevention and Fighting Service. Their goal is to prevent all fires but when they occur to ensure minimum injury or loss of life and contain and extinguish the fire.

They will inspect the buildings and enforce regulations, independent of payment, favour or political interference. They have an expert's unbiased and indepenedent outside eye, not that of an architect, builder, consultant or landlord faced with compromises between cost/design/operation/timescales/aesthetics etc. and all the time thinking about their salary/fees/job security.

It's the only way to ensure critical factors get the important focus they deserve.

G-CPTN
1st Jan 2018, 18:29
Although no lives were lost in yesterday's carpark fire in Liverpool, 'lessons will be learned' and the general opinion is that sprinklers could have checked (https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/sprinkler-system-could-have-stopped-liverpool-car-park-inferno-36448971.html) what was initially a one vehicle fire.