Thursday's deadly three-alarm fire ripped through a three-story apartment building in Lowell, taking the lives of four adults and three children. What caused the fire is under investigation, but one thing is certain: because the building was old, it had no sprinkler system.
The Lowell fire struck almost 30 years to the day from one the deadliest fires in state history — a rooming house blaze in Beverly that killed 15. That prompted legislation giving cities and towns the option of requiring rooming houses to be retrofitted with sprinklers.
But why aren't there laws requiring all homes, even older ones, to have sprinkler systems? Experts say that could have made a life-saving difference Thursday in Lowell.
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