The Latest: Honolulu mayor pushing bill requiring sprinklers
Jul. 18, 2017
HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on a deadly fire in a Honolulu high-rise apartment building (all times local):
In the wake of a fire that killed three people, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is planning to push a bill requiring sprinklers in all high-rise buildings regardless of when they were constructed.
Currently buildings on Oahu constructed before 1975 — such as the one that caught fire on Friday — can go without sprinkler systems. The mayor's office estimates about 300 high-rise residential buildings on Oahu don't have sprinklers. The bill would require all buildings taller than 75 feet to install sprinkler systems.
Similar efforts on the city and state level have failed in the past because of cost concerns.
According to the International Code Council, several cities require sprinklers in existing high-rises regardless of when the buildings were erected including Los Angeles, Houston, San Antonio, San Diego, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Police aren't treating the Honolulu high-rise apartment building where three people died in a fire as a crime scene.
Honolulu Police spokesman Capt. Rade Vanic said Monday the case is classified as an unattended death. He says even though the criminal investigation division is assigned to the case, it's not considered a crime at this point.
The fire department is still investigating. Vanic says police haven't initiated an arson investigation.
He says police and firefighters released the scene back to building security, which would be responsible for blocking off access to the floor where Friday's fire originated.
The morning after the blaze in the Marco Polo building, some people were able to take photos of the charred 26th floor.
The fire department says the blaze began in unit 2602.
Fire investigators have determined where a deadly fire began in a Honolulu high-rise apartment building, but they're still working to identify the cause.
Honolulu Fire Department Capt. David Jenkins says Monday the origin of the fire is unit 2602. He says it's across the hall from units where bodies of two women and a man were found.
Jenkins says investigators will determine exactly where in the unit Friday's fire started and what caused it.
The Marco Polo building was constructed in 1971, before fire sprinklers were required in high-rises. Fire officials say sprinklers would have prevented flames from spreading.
Jenkins says it's one of the worst fires in modern Honolulu history.
Some residents say they had trouble hearing sirens and didn't realize there was fire raging until opening their doors.