Questions about fire evacuations

Posted: Wednesday, March 22, 2000

The coverage of the fire on March 9 in the Mountainview apartments aroused in me some of the same questions that I have been asking for the last several years.

Is there a written and tested (i.e. regular fire drills) emergency evacuation policy in place with regards to wheelchair users, who must use the elevator to get in and out of the apartment? What plan exists that would make the lifting of wheelchairs over laid-out fire hoses, as depicted in the Empire's front page photograph, unnecessary? Has the ``area of refuge'' been tested or checked? Where is it located?

These questions demand a positive answer in the light of the near tragedy. It seems that bullet was dodged. How many more such dodges can the tenants take before there is a regrettable outcome?

The use of an ``Evacu Chair,'' ``Scalamobil'' or another proven device by the fire department or the owners of the complex will answer these questions at a reasonable cost.

Perhaps, averting a tragedy for the Empire to report.

Ken Dean

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