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Every apartment should have a working smoke detector. However, the real answer to fire safety in these multiple dwellings is an appropriate building code. In this case, it was not the wind, not the cigarette, or the spark that caused this fire. The existing Building Code is defective. Example, wooden deck, flamable vinyl siding, substandard fire exits, and inappropriate fire stopping to the cockloft is the reason why this fire got to the point where you had a fatality and other injured people. If this is left unchecked, again, under the right conditions: high wind, etc., any amount of proper operating amount of smoke detectors will not safe the lives of the people in the complex. What needs to be done is to evacuate all tenants immediately until the proper fire safety steps are taken. For example, fire retarded exits, and I emphasize, not one exits but several exits from the upper floors. Replace vinyl siding with fire retardant siding and appropriate fire stopping to protect the cockloft from fire extension. I'm certain that there are other things I've missed. Respectfully yours, J.R.
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