Chief: Indiana apartment fire highlights weakness in building codes

  • Source: WXIN-TV Fox 59 Indianapolis
  • Published: 06/17/2021 12:00 AM

VIDEO: Fire officials say a massive apartment fire two months ago in Greenwood highlighted a weakness in Indiana building codes that they would like to see changed. The fire displaced 59 residents during the overnight hours and resulted in injuries to one civilian and one firefighter. Investigators determined the April 14 fire at the Meridian Oaks apartment originated on an outdoor, second floor balcony. While the exact cause is not known, it’s believed that some kind of human error, possibly a cigarette butt or other discarded material, ignited the wooden balcony before the flames spread to vinyl siding on the building’s exterior wall. “It went right up the vinyl siding,” said White River Township Fire Chief, Jeremy Pell. “Behind that is a Styrofoam insulation, and from there it went into the attic. Fire grows more quickly if it has better fuel and vinyl siding and Styrofoam board is great fuel.” Pell said the construction of the building was in line with Indiana building codes.


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