Smoke detector not working in fatal fire

A woman was killed in an apartment fire in Salem, Ohio.


SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Investigators have not determined the cause in a fatal apartment fire in Salem but a check of the building for smoke alarms revealed new details.

According to the Morning Journal, Salem firefighters and the city housing inspector returned to the E. Third Street apartment complex Thursday to check the smoke alarms in the building.

In a report released from the incident, the apartment where the victim died did not have a working smoke detector.

An April 2014 inspection of the building indicates that a working smoke detector was present in every unit.

The city housing code requires at least one functioning smoke detector per floor and basement. When the alarms were tested yesterday, two detectors in each stairwell and in each building were working.

At the time of the fire, a firefighter recalls hearing a chirping sound when entering the building, which may have come from a smoke detector with a low battery.

Gayle Reed, 62, died in the Wednesday in fire at 846 East Third St.

The building sustained heavy smoke damage. The apartment landlord said there are six two-bedroom apartments in the building. The Red Cross and Salvation Army are assisting the tenants who were displaced by the fire.

Fire department officials said that the fire started in a corner bedroom, but they do not know how the fire ignited.

This is a developing story. Check back here and tune in to WKBN First News at Noon for updates.

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