We recently had a fatal fire in a fourplex with two apartments down and two upstairs. The upstairs apartments were accessed by an outside stairway and the fire started under the stairs, effectively blocking egress from the upstairs apartments. One young mother and an infant were killed. Four others jumped from the other apartment to safety (minor injuries).

Last year we had a remarkably similiar fire in a multifamily apartment where the fire blocked the egress from the upstairs apartments but everyone was able to jump to safety.

As I have looked around the community (150,000) and I see many more of the same type of buildings. I am looking for any ideas to implement a program of some type the deal with secondary exiting from the upstairs apartments. (educational, installed hardware, code changes, etc...)

Please let me know if you have had any fires in apartments with outside stairways where the primary egress was compromised. What steps did your department take to deal with the problem?

Either respond to this posting or email me at rkettle@fcgov.com.

Thanks for your time.
Ralph Kettle
Captain E12