NBC Chicago has an article which puts the state and the city at odds over sprinklers and other upgrades in the Lake Shore Drive high-rise where a woman dies in a recent fire.

As the state fire marshal cites the owners of a Lake Shore Drive high rise for multiple violations following last week’s fatal fire, a clash is shaping up between the State of Illinois and Chicago over whose fire laws should have applied.

An exploration of the laws shows that confusion reigns, and that in many cases, not everyone agrees on what those laws require.

Illinois Fire Marshall Larry Matkaitis cited the building’s owners, Planned Property Management, for more than a dozen violations, including lack of a sprinkler system, and lack of automatic recall systems on the building’s elevators.

The victim, Shantel McCoy, died when the elevator on which she was riding, opened on the fire floor, hitting her with a blast estimated at 1500 degrees. An automated return system would have locked that elevator down on the building’s first floor when smoke alarms activated, preventing McCoy from ever going upstairs.

Neither sprinklers nor automated return systems are currently required for pre-1975 residential high-rises in Chicago, which claims home rule authority in following its own fire codes, rather than adhering to the more stringent Illinois fire laws. The state contends their law should apply.

The complete article can be found HERE which includes references back to the Cook County Building fire in 2003 and the findings by james Lee Witt & Associates in their report commissioned by the State of Illinois.

Tags: , , , , , ,