34 Columbia Apartments Still Not Up to Fire Code

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COLUMBIA - In May 2011, the Columbia Fire Department adopted the 2009 International Fire Code that requires all buildings with 16 or more sleeping units, or with three or more stories above the ground floor, must have a manual "pull down" fire alarm station.

According to Battalion Chief, Brad Fraizer, 34 out of the 196 apartment buildings in the city are still not up to code, including Ash Street Apartments where a fire broke out Tuesday.

"It highlights the importance of these pull down stations, if it happened at night the fire could've had a very different outcome", said Fraizer. "With those manual pull station the whole building can be notified there is a fire and that's what we want, receive notification and get out."

Derek Tague, a temporary resident at Ash Street Apartments said, "I don't know if the fire alarm went off, we didn't hear anything, we just saw people evacuating and the smoke, it could've been faulty".

No one was injured in Tuesday's fire, which was sparked by a faulty bathroom light fixture, causing an estimated $450,000 in damages. 

Clean up crews were on sight today ripping out carpet and drywall, while draining all water left over from the fire department.

Back in November 2012, the owners of the Ash Street Apartments were notified it was not up to code and given a year to comply, because it hasn't hit the one year mark the apartments are not in any legal trouble for the fire.