Experts: Apartment complex destroyed in deadly fire likely not up to code

The Investigators: Apartment complex burned by fatal fire likely not up to code, experts say
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Investigators with the Baton Rouge Fire Department said an apartment complex destroyed in a deadly fire had working smoke detectors, but several people, including an inspector, questioned the living conditions.

The fire killed one person on North Donmoor Avenue late Monday night. Neighbors on Tuesday referred to the complex as a "group home" and questioned the living conditions at the complex.

Fire inspection reports obtained by the 9News Investigators show that an least one inspector also questioned the living conditions and turned his findings over to investigators at both the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

Carol Thornton tracks events in the Melrose East community. She said some of the residents living in the complex are mentally challenged and in need of assistance.

"I think that it's time that we start holding these people accountable who are supposed to be over these mentally challenged people," Thornton said. "You just can't throw them in a hole and leave them there until the first or the third of the month and then come and get that money and then not take care of them."

Baton Rouge and Louisiana investigators say it doesn't appear that the care offered at the complex would rise to the level of state regulations and licensing requirements.

All other residents of the apartment building managed to escape unharmed.

Investigators said the cause of the fire is undetermined and is under investigation. Red Cross is assisting other residents.

The name of the person who died in the fire has not been released.

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