At approximately 10: p.m. on Sunday, March 17, 1996, and accidental fire occurred at the Scotch Meadow Rest Home in Laurinburg, North Carolina. According to state fire investigators, faulty electrical wiring in a patient room's wall receptacle caused the ignition of bedding materials. Eight elderly male residents died of smoke inhalation and two other residents sustained smoke related injuries.
The facility involved was a state licensed domiciliary care facility approved for 60 residents; 58 residents were in the building at the time of the fire. This type of facility would be classified as a Large Board and Care Facility according to Life Safety Code criteria. The building was a single- story, protected wood frame structure. It had been equipped with heat detectors in the resident rooms and a building-wide fire alarm system. Fire doors were installed in the corridors and provided smoke separation between building wings. These fire doors were interlocked with the fire alarm system. The facility had been inspected by state personnel approximately one month before the fire and no deficiencies were noted during that inspection.
According to local fire officials, the building's fire alarm system operated releasing the corridor fire doors. As a result, the most severe smoke spread occurred on the wing of fire origin, and this was the area where the residents died.
NFPA members can download the full investigation report Fire Investigation Board and Care Those interested in more information about board and care fires can download NFPA's report and fact sheet on Structure Fires in Residential Board and Care Facilities To learn more about NFPA 101: Life Safety Code®