Residents Question Smoke Detectors in Fatal Endicott Fire
1/13/2014 (Updated 7:01:13 PM)Following the fatal fire in apartment 6 at 319 Exchange Ave in Endicott, neighbors reflect on the severity of the fire and 39-year-old Michael Kelley, who died despite efforts by a neighbor and firefighters to rescue him.
"There was so much smoke. The flames were pretty big," said Betty Headrick of apartment 14.
"The fire was blazing out and the guy is laying on the ground," said Tramell Mclaughlin of apartment 17.
Apartment 6 is currently completely boarded up as the investigation continues. As you can see here people have already placed flowers and candles in memory of the victim.
"It was pretty hard on the people that knew the guy. I had met him in passing and things. And he was a great guy, real sweet," said Headrick.
Although Kelley's death is fresh in the minds of neighbors, they've become concerned for their own safety.
"No alarms were going off. The whole time," said McLaughlin.
"I don't think anyone's here is really working well," said
Following the fire, a resident reported that the smoke detectors were faulty. Code enforcement has looked into the matter, and according to the Endicott Fire Department, those detectors were up to standard.
"Last time we did a certificate of compliance inspection there, every apartment had the correct number of smoke alarms," said Chief Joseph Griswold, of the Endicott Fire Department.
R&M Management Service manages the complex. It says the detectors are all in working order, and that they're checked every time a new tenant moves in. Residents say, that's still not enough.
"The thing is, they still don't work. It don't work and then you're holding me responsible for something that you should...this isn't my property," said McLaughlin.
According to the management company and state law, tenants are responsible for maintaining the smoke detectors. They sign an agreement to do this at the time of the lease, and should contact management if the detectors become faulty. On Exchange Ave in Endicott, Ayla Ferrone, Fox 40 HD News.
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