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Today in fire history: fire in board and care facility leaves 8 residents dead

Blog Post created by ryan.quinn Employee on Mar 17, 2012

On March 17, 1996, a fire occurred in a single-story board and care facility in Laurinburg, North Carolina.  The fire was caused by sparks from a faulty electrical receptacle which ignited bedding materials in one of the resident rooms.  Smoke spread into other areas when cross-corridor doors were opened during evacuation and fire suppression.  Eight residents died in the blaze.

According to NFPA’s investigation, the following contributed to the loss of life in this incident:

  • Staff members’ inability to enter the fire area due to smoke and heat
  • Occupants’ inability to evacuate before untenable conditions developed in the fire area
  • Room doors that remained open due the lack of door self-closing devices
  • Lack of automatic sprinklers

NFPA members can read the full investigation report

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