According to a news report, the Illinois couple, one of whom had mobility issues and used an oxygen tank, was unable to escape in time. Older adults are one of the groups at highest risk of fire death and injury. "This fire is a tragic reminder of the need for fire sprinklers in homes," said Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board and Fire Sprinkler Initiative blogger. "National studies have shown that people tend to feel the safest in homes. However, homes are where the greatest fire risk is present."
The incident occurred in Will County, where a month earlier a board opted to adopt the 2012 International Residential Code but nixed its requirements for sprinklers in one- and two-family homes. All model building codes include this provision. "When a new home is eventually rebuilt on this lot...it will lack fire sprinkler protection and be no safer, due to the decision by county officials to remove code requirements," said Lia.