Catastrophic apartment blaze exposes wood construction + fire sprinkler folly

Sources: CP staff; New York Times; Associated Press; AvalonBay Communities Inc., Arlington, Va.

“If it was made out of concrete and cinder block, we wouldn’t have this sort of problem,” Edgewater (N.J.) Fire Chief Tom Jacobson said at a press briefing after a blaze destroyed or severely damaged more than half of Avalon at Edgewater, a 408-unit, wood-framed apartment complex built to 1990s-style code. The January 21 incident saw no loss of life and minor injuries to four firefighters and civilians.

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