New Jersey firefighters want tougher fire codes

Firefighters in New Jersey are calling for tougher fire codes in the wake of a blaze that destroyed 240 units and left about 500 people

New Jersey firefighters want tougher fire codes

New Jersey firefighters want tougher fire codes (8/24/15)

EDGEWATER - Firefighters in New Jersey are calling for tougher fire codes in the wake of a blaze that destroyed 240 units and left about 500 people homeless at an apartment complex in Edgewater.

Leaders from several firefighting organizations stood outside the Avalon at Edgewater complex on Sunday, renewing calls for lawmakers and Gov. Chris Christie to act.

None of the bills introduced since the January fire have been acted on.

Firefighter associations want changes to the state Uniform Construction Code to limit wood-frame construction to three floors and 20,000 square feet per floor. They also want to require more sprinklers and masonry fire walls between buildings.

"I'm asking that our elected leaders listen to the fire service," says Richard Silvia, of the New Jersey Fire Protection and Prevention Association. "We know what's right, we know what makes these buildings safe. We know what makes these building burn."

Under current building codes, the Avalon apartment building that burned down can be rebuilt using the same materials and plans. 

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