Title: Fire Sprinklers Could Have Saved 5 Who Died in 2019 High-Rise Fire
Subtitle: State Fire Marshal Division Makes Multiple Recommendations
Page Content:
ST. PAUL — Fire sprinklers could have saved the lives of five people who died last year in an early morning high-rise fire in Minneapolis the day before Thanksgiving. That was one of the key findings from a report released today by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division (DPS-SFMD). 

The DPS-SFMD completes after-action reports following multiple-fatality or high dollar-loss fires. Such reports help identify factors that led to multiple deaths and injuries and determine strategies that could prevent such tragic fires in the future.

“This tragic loss of life could have been prevented. The victims would still be alive had there been sprinklers throughout that entire building,” State Fire Marshal Jim Smith said. “We owe it to the victims and their families to learn from this fire so we can prevent similar tragedies.”  

Residents and firefighters responding to 630 Cedar Ave. S. found themselves in dangerous fire conditions on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, according to the report. While some safety features were present in the building, there were not redundant features to protect the residents once a single safety element failed.

In addition to recommending all high-rise buildings in Minnesota have fire sprinkler systems throughout, DPS-SFMD urges residential building owners to discontinue the practice of propping fire doors open or placing objects in the path of the door that prevent it from closing in a fire. Other recommendations include encouraging fire separations for existing “scissor stairs” to form independent stair enclosures to provide at least two distinct paths of escape. 
 
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 10 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.

About the State Fire Marshal Division
The mission of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division is to protect lives and property by fostering a fire-safe environment through fire/arson investigation, code development and enforcement, regulation, data collection and public education. Data collected by the State Fire Marshal Division from fire departments statewide is analyzed and used to determine the best methods of public education and enforcement to improve fire safety in our state. 
Director: Bruce Gordon
Primary Contact Email: jennifer.longaecker@state.mn.us
Primary Contact Name: Jen Longaecker
Primary Contact Phone: 651-403-1007
Formatted Publish Date: October 27, 2020