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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Columbus GA
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    Default 3 Die in local fire

    A 32 year old mother, and her two daughters, ages 10 and 6, die in a home fire. Details are not fully known at this time, but fire fighters suspect that burglar bars on the doors and windows kept the victims from being able to escape before being overcome by smoke.

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  2. #2
    Joe Suelter's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    That is horrible.


  3. #3
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    I wrote those damn things up so long ago I cannot remember when was the first time. I hear stories like that and get tears in my eyes instantly. So damn sad.


  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    The irony is that people purchase burglar bars with the belief they are protecting their family.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #5
    Joe Suelter's Avatar
    Joe Suelter Guest

    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    Those and double key deadbolts. I don't understand the concept. I've seen many homes with padlocks on bedroom doors ( not so good neighborhoods). I fail to understand people's thoughts on that, they are locking people within that home out of that portion of the house. Ignorant.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    New York
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    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    I regularly run into security bars and scissor gates. It is standard to recommend that all security bars and scissor gates be equipped with quick release devices.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  7. #7

    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    I have no investment in these bars, nor connection with the inventor/seller, but if people insist they have to have them, these are the bars I recommend.

    Tiffany Bars

    Tiffany Window Bars - YouTube

    Egbert Jager
    Diamond Home Inspection
    http://www.diamondhomeinspection.ca

  8. #8
    Ted Williams's Avatar
    Ted Williams Guest

    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    That has to be a truly horrible way to go.


  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    According to tax records the victim was not the owner of the property. This indicates this is rental property.
    I (and others on this forum) have rental property.
    If you have rentals, make sure to install smoke detectors, and that bedroom windows open, also no dbl cyl deadbolts on doors.
    I would hate to have something like this forever haunting my memory.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  10. #10
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    I did this house today with bars on all the basement and first floor side and rear windows. It looked like a jail from the back. Since it was a seller inspection I made the recommendation that the bars be removed or modified but I don't think I made much of an impression. $400k house near a private university (built 1940). Hope the buyer of the house listens to their inspector.

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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Lake Barrington, IL
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    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Suelter View Post
    Those and double key deadbolts. I don't understand the concept. I've seen many homes with padlocks on bedroom doors ( not so good neighborhoods). I fail to understand people's thoughts on that, they are locking people within that home out of that portion of the house. Ignorant.
    I'm one of those "ignorant" homeowners.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  12. #12
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    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    Working smoke alarms would have likely given ample time to the occupants to escape. If they were overcome by smoke the fire was likely burning for some time.


  13. #13
    Joe Suelter's Avatar
    Joe Suelter Guest

    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    I'm one of those "ignorant" homeowners.
    What? Say it ain't so!


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Marietta, Georgia
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    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    This segways nicely into a post I was thinking about writing. Inspected a home in Atlanta, circa 1940s that had been transfromed into a multi family home. Upstairs was the main floor but the basement has been built-out for a two bedroom apartment and a studio. The two bedroom apartment had one bedroom that was below grade with one window that was, first of all, 5.5' above the floor with bars on the window...no escape possible. Outside this bedroom was a short hall and off this hall was the gas forced air furnace closet, furnce flue has completley rusted through and fallen off. So, not only could the tenants die from CO poisoning but the girl's bedroom would be a death trap in the event of a fire. The Studio unit was small, perhaps 400 sq.ft. One entry door and two small windows...that were fixed, no seconday means of escape. Behind the couch that pulled out into a bed was a double louvered door that opened into the....forced air furnace closet and two gas fire water heaters. Both the furnace (140,000 BTU) and water heaters (80,000BTUs) had no access to any combustion/dilution air except for this little studio...I do not know why the kid who lived there was not already dead from CO backdrafting due to the extreme lack of air for the units. Now, after setting this stage...what would you do after writing the report?

    Of course, my report detailed all the above listed issues and more with dire warnings. The word Hazardous in red was used frequently. Question is: what else would any of you have done? Since this was a rental, no homeowner living there, the occupants were clueless as to the dangers. Would you contact the Fire Marshall, health departmant, write the tennats letters warning them, turn off the gas to the home, the furnaces? What? Now, this is a bit more of a moral dilemna than a bag of weed found in an attic. I did do something, but don't really want to hear all the bashing that would surely come for some folks, so I may keep it to myself.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
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    869

    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    Michael,

    These 2 items are included in my states COE. The first must be included in inspection agreements.

    “If immediate threats to health or safety are observed during the course of the inspection, the client hereby consents to allow the home inspector to disclose such immediate threats to health or safety to the property owner and/or occupants of the property.”

    and

    (a) Home inspectors shall not engage in, knowingly permit or aid and abet, unlicensed or activity that is prohibited by Article 12-B of the Real Property Law or the regulations promulgated thereunder.


    IMO, I believe many folks that live in a basement apartment like you described, may not act on the situation, even if they were informed.

    Calling the Building Dept, or Fire Dept is a big step, but may be necessary. You have to judge each situation individually, and then have to live with yourself.

    Not to long ago I inspected a group of properties for an insurance carrier (for 1 insured). In the basement of 1 apartment building, there were about 6 apartments that fit your description. I had no problems informing the ins co of the situation, and made all necessary recommendations. A few weeks later I had to meet with the same insured. He complained about me and said I cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars. Same old crap about nobody ever complained before, even had inspections from the local FD, I imagine that because he owned so much property in this small city, they overlooked it.

    I apologized if I created any problems, but explained that this is my duty. He continued to rant and rave. Finally I asked him if anything I said was not accurate. At that point he shut up.

    I agree that this is not as easy as a bag of weed.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  16. #16

    Default Re: 3 Die in local fire

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post

    .... He continued to rant and rave. Finally I asked him if anything I said was not accurate. At that point he shut up.
    Love it!!

    I have no qualms about doing the same. Not sure why anyone would have a problem with protecting the life, well being, or safety of any person. Regardless of how much money the person failing to meet the minimum standards would be inconvenienced.

    Egbert Jager
    Diamond Home Inspection
    http://www.diamondhomeinspection.ca

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