Fire crews in Tukwila are still monitoring a fire at an apartment complex that left three dead and dozens of others displaced.
But as the last few hot spots were being put out Wednesday, some are wondering how the fire could’ve gotten so bad in the first place.
“Why didn’t this building have fire sprinklers?” Tukwila Fire Chief Jay Wittwer asked.
The question raises a serious issue, and not just for Tukwila residents.
“There are dozens of buildings in the City of Tukwila,” Wittwer said. “But more importantly, for the public that’s out there, there are literally hundreds of occupancies throughout the Seattle area that are not sprinkled.”
So where were the sprinklers for Maple Crest Apartments? Since the complex was built in the early 60’s, building codes didn’t require the building to have any installed.
But when the building codes were updated, the building wasn’t.