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ABC Day Care Fire Kills 44

Fire In Warehouse Spreads to Day Care in Hermosillo, Mexico

On Friday June 5 a fire in an adjacent warehouse spread into a day care which has resulted in 44 deaths and could rise.  The fire is under investigation, although the cause could be a short circuit with an air conditioning unit.

The building was not protected with a fire sprinkler system and the fire alarm system did not activate due to the location of the fire and detectors.  The building, which was a mixed use building that including a day-care facility as well as an industrial complex.

It appears that the day-care was provided by the government for low-cost care in a converted industrial complex.   The fire appears to have started in a tire and care warehouse which spread smoke and hot gases in a void space into the day-care.

The day care which was surrounded by other industrial occupancies had as many as 146 children (ranging from 6 months to five years old) with only one usable exit (the second egress was bolted close and the key could not be found).  Responding firefighters breached several walls to save the children trapped inside.

Some reports indicate that a fire safety inspection was conducted by the federal government in May where exit signs and egress lights were working.  The AP recently reported that smoke detectors were present in the facility at a lower ceiling and the fire and smoke brewed above the ceiling tiles.

The system failed these children and an in-depth investigation by an outside source is needed to look at fire safety in the immediate area and throughout Mexico.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Nick Markowitz Jr. June 8, 2009, 7:52 pm

    What a bad day this had to be down in Mexico. But it should serve as a reminder to all just what can go drastically wrong.
    Even here in US something like this could happen if we do not remain vigilant.
    We have plenty of small daycares with out sprinklers and only basic smoke alarms not full systems. That are run out of peoples homes.

  • Mike Lewis June 9, 2009, 6:55 am

    Too many persons, not enough exits is a bad combination that has been the cause of catastrophic loss of life as long as there have been building codes. As Nick mentioned above, vigilance is needed for occupancies like these to make sure that the additional exits are not bolted and locked, that enough persons are available to assist in the evacuation and the particular occupancies are not impacted by exposures. The article didn’t mention whether routine evacuation drills were conducted. This may have uncovered problems that could have prevented this most unfortunate occurance.

  • Brian Dove June 9, 2009, 7:38 am

    Probably the local fire authority needs to educate parents that day cares that do not have fire sprinklers or other proper and reasonable fire protection are providing sub standard fire safety for their children. I’ll bet that goes over real well with the council and mayor.

    Think about it, if a day care owner will let fire sprinklers cost dictate his/her decision to use them what other safety or health issues have they forgone because of cost? Did they really do a criminal background check of their workers. Do they really change diapers as often as is recommended? Did they really screen for infectious diseases. Were the toys and cribs really screened for foreign products that might contain lead?

    Most of the day care operators I ran across were more than willing to pay for things like sprinklers, alarms and suppression systems in hoods that ADVERTISED by their presence that their day care was safe .

  • Tim Rogers June 23, 2009, 8:57 am

    If you watched the news yesterday, you saw that the people who owned the business next door, where the fire started, were put in jail. That’s what I like, swift justice!

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