To the Editor,

Tragedy struck in a single-story brick apartment building on East Church Street in Keansburg in the early morning on March 27, 2012, when a fire claimed the life of a female resident who suffered from multiple sclerosis and was trapped inside the building.  A resident alerted neighbors after smelling burning rubber which was followed by a loud bang and the sound of a fire alarm. Neighbors, police and fire fighters tried to reach the victim but were forced back by the fire’s intense heat and smoke.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation; however, this terrible tragedy could have been prevented.

New Jersey has seen an increase in the number of house and apartment fires recently resulting in tragic fatalities and catastrophic property loss. In many cases, properly installed and maintained fire sprinklers control (and typically extinguish) a fire before the fire department even arrives on the scene.  More importantly, the presence of fire sprinklers mitigates the risk to individuals affected by the blaze, including inhabitants of the structure and firefighters who battle the fire. 

Fire sprinklers are the only proactive form of fire protection, providing firefighters the time they need to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible, and helping to avoid potential tragedies like the one that occurred in Keansburg this week.

Best Regards,

David Kurasz, Executive Director

New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board