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Daycare where fire killed 5 children was not inspected for smoke detectors



Harris Family Daycare in Erie, where a fire killed four siblings and a child by the owner, apparently did not have enough smoke detectors, said Erie Fire Chief Guy Santone. Investigators who are only in the house, he said; it was in the wind. State regulations indicate that there should have been one on each floor of the two floors.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services conducted the annual security checks at the facility. DHS security checks include exits, space heaters, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and fire drills, DHS Press Secretary Erin James said in an email to CNN, but "the current regulations do not allow citing child care for compliance with fire safety codes including pre-fire codes. for smoke detectors. "

" This is an unthinkable tragedy, and we are committed to working with other state agencies and local partners to ensure that child care facilities are properly monitored for smoke detectors in the future, "James said. "We are committed to closing this gap and all options, including amending DHS's existing regulations, will be considered in the immediate future."

The Pennsylvania State Code requires childcare facilities to run out of homes to have "a smoke detector on" Every floor and basement. "

" If the Department of Human Services observes a possible brake safety violation, it will request additional fire safety inspections concerned body, "in accordance with state codes, James said of the current process

Santone said the city inspects for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. However, Harris Family Daycare was not registered with the city government because a" loophole "in regulations meant that all child care facilities that were founded before 2004 just had to register with the state, he said.

"When they (state officials) do their inspections, they do not inspect for smoke detectors. They do not inspect for fire extinguishers. They inspect for things like cleanliness, make sure there is nothing around a child who can suffocate, things like that, "said Santone of DHS, speaking at a press conference Tuesday." It must stop. "

Eight People were on the second floor of the house when the fire broke out around 1

:15 pm in the living room on the first floor, Santone said.

The fire chief indicated that inspectors were focusing on an extension cord as the cause of the fire.

  Fire at a day care center in Pennsylvania kills four siblings and homeowner's children

Two teenagers who escaped the fire were warned by a smoke detector on the house Santone said, "They went out by jumping out of a window on the second floor onto a porch in the home. When the detector went off, the house was already filled with smoke, Santone said.

The state Senator Dan Laughlin said he has drafted legislation to get smoke detector inspections for DHS inspections of day care centers.

"Unfortunately, it can happen again, because there are thousands of these daily cares about the state of Pennsylvania that are unprotected right now, at least as far as we know," Laughlin said at the news conference.

The daycare had an active "certificate of conformity", state records show. The most recent home inspection in December cited several things that needed to be corrected, including electrical outlets and the removal of ash and cigarette butts. The inspection did not mention any problems with fire safety.

The victims were between 9 months and eight years. Three of the four siblings were children of a firefighter from the nearby Lawrence Park Volunteer Fire Department.

CNN's Julia Jones, Darran Simon, Holly Yan, Jason Carroll and Mirna Alsharif contributed to this report.


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