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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:

  • 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
  • Staff members’ inability to enter the fire area due to smoke and heat


NFPA members can read the full investigation report.

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