Many Jan. 9 New York apartment fire deaths were preventable

Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT) Executive Director Pete Ielmini joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why deaths from a recent New York City high rise apartment fire were preventable if critical fire containment regulations had been properly followed.

On Jan. 9, fire broke out on the third floor of a 19-story apartment building in the Bronx. Tragically, 17 people, including eight children, lost their lives. According to the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, all 17 victims died of smoke inhalation.

Ielmini questioned how smoke from the third floor could travel through the building, causing those deaths. If the building had been up to code, many of those people would still be alive, he said.

The reason why smoke spread throughout the structure was because the fire doors did not work, said Ielmini. They should have closed when the fire alarms were set off. Instead, the fire doors remained open and smoke inundated the building.

Ielmini then discussed the importance of proper firestopping measures. The laws are already on the books requiring these safety standards. What is lacking is proper enforcement, he added.

He also explained the importance of having qualified people install these safety measures.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about the importance of fire containment:


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