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Usually a time for celebrating, the July 4th holiday began with a tragedy 30 years ago. Around 4 a.m. that morning in 1984, a fire started at the Elliott Chambers Rooming House in Beverly, Mass., and spread up the stairway to living quarters on the second and third floor. Escape was nearly impossible as people were trapped in their rooms. (Back then, rooming houses were known as "death traps" due to the high number of fatalities at these settings.) The incident killed 15 people, including a person who leaped to their death, and injured nine others.
For additional information on this event and its impact on sprinkler mandates, read the post on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.</p>