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Fire Officials: Sprinklers could have stopped, slowed apartment fire

fire departments gather outside huge fire at bayside apartment complex
Posted at 8:57 PM, Apr 03, 2019

Fire officials believe a sprinkler system may have stopped a Bayside apartment building from being destroyed by fire.

North Shore Fire/Rescue Chief Robert Whitaker said "It very likely could have knocked the fire down."

The building was equipped with fire sprinklers in the garage, but not the residential floors.

It didn't have to be according to Whitaker. When the building was opened in 1989, "The fire code in Bayside did not require sprinklers," Whitaker said. It wasn't until 1992 that the fire code was changed to require sprinklers.

Cost is likely the reason for not retrofitting the building with a sprinkler system. According to Guardian Fire Protection Services, putting in a system in a new building would cost somewhere between $1 and $2 dollars a square foot. To retrofit a current building, costs can exceed $7 a square foot says the fire protection company.

The Bayside building was up to code according to fire officials, with no major violations.