Right before Christmas, 74-year-old Janice Tyrrell got a phone call every parent dreads. The caller stated that there had been a fire at the home of her daughter, Theresa Freeman, a 55-year-old disabled woman. "On the day it happened, we got a phone call about 8 a.m., to say that the fire brigade was there at her house," Tyrell told the Cambridge News. "They told us that we needed to get over to Cambridge. We both have health issues and can't drive, so we had to eventually get a train, and it was nine hours before we actually got to the house."
Following the fire, Freeman was taken to the hospital, where she eventually died from her injuries. Soon after the tragedy, her mother entered the world of fire sprinkler advocacy, telling Cambridge News, "I think that there should have been sprinklers in the bungalow. It might even have saved her life. All houses for disabled people should have them."
Commenting on Tyrrell's statement, a spokesman for the Cambridge City Council in England told the news outlet that sprinklering its properties is not a requirement, adding that installing them in "all our homes would be very expensive indeed." The response, I'm sure, is of little comfort to Freeman's family.
Learn how Wales, England's neighbor, addressed the sprinkler cost issue and enacted a requirement to sprinkler all of its new homes.