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fire, alarm

9-24 field trip 003.jpg

how the heck are these residents going to get out of their apartement if there's a fire? they could try to use the fire escape, but they'd end up in a tangle of vines, weeds, a fence three feet from their building, and probably tetnus. the best part? this is on Grand Ave. in St. Paul, but the well-to-do shoppers aren't going to see. of course not. the tennants probably had to by this apartment because they could find affordable housing in any new development, only expensive condos. but that's a whole other rant.
and this isn't just a recent problem either. oh no. wasy back in 1911 there was a famous case involving a apartment building in NYC. here's a exerpt from the Times:
"City, country, and state officials were involved yesterday in the discussion of responsibility for the conditions existing in the ten-story loft building at University Place and Green Street, where Saturday evening's fire cost 142 lives, the latest victim dying in a hospital yesterday. Responsibility for the inadequate fire escape facilities was charged directly to the Building Department. In its defense Borough President McAneny issued a statement last night…Mr. McAneny said the plans for the Washington Place building were filed eleven years ago and were accepted as complying with the law. This fact urged, contended that its Inspectors never had time to look at buildings except those in process of construction, and that several of its small force of Inspectors were grossly incompetent.â€?
( http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/triangle/trianglenyt4.html )