High-rise fire deaths in Minnesota city prompt call for sprinkler requirements in tall buildings

  • Source: Duluth News Tribune
  • Published: 02/06/2020 12:00 AM

In response to a deadly fire in a Minneapolis high-rise last fall, a group of Minnesota lawmakers on Wednesday, Feb. 5, proposed legislation that would require nearly all tall apartment buildings to install automatic sprinkler systems. Five people died Nov. 27, 2019, in an early-morning fire at Cedar High Apartments, a 25-story building near downtown Minneapolis. Those deaths could have been prevented if the 1960s-era building had sprinklers on its upper floors, Sen. Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis, said at a Capitol news conference announcing the bill. “Sprinklers are the best protection you can have,” Steve Zaccard, St. Paul’s former fire marshal, told reporters. A 1979 law requires all new government-owned buildings to install sprinkler systems, but up to 40 buildings constructed before that year do not have sprinklers. Twenty-six of those high-rises are in Minneapolis, Dziedzic said.


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