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.