To the Editor,
Re: Blaze leaves 56 homeless, June 3.
Apartment Building Fire
I’m writing to express my concerns regarding the May 31 apartment fire in Port Alberni that has now left 56 low income residents homeless and a $1.5 million dollar building that most likely will be demolished.
As a red seal journeyman sprinkler fitter with more than 15 years’ experience in the fire protection/prevention industry it’s sad to see a residential building burn down because there was no sprinkler system installed.
If this building had been installed with fire sprinklers, it would have been contained and extinguished in the stairwell and would not have affected any other part of the building.
Fire sprinklers reduce the risk of dying in a fire by up to 80 per cent and reduce the average property loss by more than 70 per cent.
Sprinklers are installed as the first line of defence when a fire first starts. The cost of installing a sprinkler system in an existing residential building would cost five to 10 per cent of the overall building value.
Port Alberni along with all other municipalities must implement changes to make fire sprinklers mandatory in all existing residential buildings to prevent these devastating fires from happening.