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Experts Say Fire Danger Increasing In New Buildings

Brian Kelly Twitter:@brpkelly
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Five Alarm fire consumes apartment building in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (KMOX)-Local and national firefighting experts are warning that we could see many more fires like Tuesday’s inferno on Lindell, especially in newer buildings, including homes.

Fire Engineering Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bobby Halton tells KMOX that the materials used in ‘lightweight’ construction  are made with chemicals that fuel fire, “Particle board that contains glue. You’re talking about all kinds of wiring and coaxial cable that’s up there. You’re talking about the air conditioning handling units.”

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says the furnishings inside our homes and apartments add to the danger, because everything is made of man-made synthetics, “Twenty-five years ago we were dealing with wool, cotton and wood. You go into the average apartment, the average home right now, everything is man-made, it’s all synthetic. Everything burns hotter, quicker and gives off toxic fumes.”

Jenkerson says the industry and cities need to look at updating building codes, to keep up with the changes.

Halton says it means if your home or office catches fire, get out right away, “When I began in the fire service back in the 70’s  we used to tell folks that they had between 15 and 20 minutes, today you have two minutes, tops.”

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