No Sprinkler System Was Found after Waterville Man Died in a Fire
Investigators into the fatal fire at a senior living facility in Waterville have identified the victim and say they found no sprinkler system.
Who Was the Person Who Passed Away?
The Maine Fire Marshal's Office has identified the victim of Monday's fire as Ronald Kennerson, 65. Three others, whose names have not been released, were injured in the fire at the Elm Towers senior apartments.
Crews were called to the fire just after 5:30 Monday morning. When firefighters entered the building, they found flames in a fourth-floor apartment and a person who was unresponsive. Life-saving measures were implemented but first responders were unable to revive Mr. Kennerson. It took a couple of hours to locate all the tenants due to limited personnel.
Why Was There No Sprinkler System?
Investigators have been working to determine a cause of the fire but, so far, all they can say is that foul play does not appear to have been a factor. The 7-story building did not have a sprinkler system because they were not required when it was built in 1971. Diane Townsend, Executive Director of the Waterville House Authority told the Morning Sentinel that each unit did, however, have a heavy metal, well-sealed fire door to prevent the spread of fire. In addition, she says the building is essentially all cement, so that helped to stem the spread of the fire. Most of the damage to the building is due to water and smoke, which means it will take some time, but should be habitable again.
Was the No Drinking Order Lifted?
One issue that arose from the fire was a No Drinking Order from the Kennebec Water District after firefighting foam entered the water distribution system. That order was lifted on Tuesday.