April 18, 2014

Elyria
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Fire escape probe delayed till Monday

LORAIN — Residents at the Antlers Apartments will have to wait until Monday to learn whether a fire escape ladder should be replaced on a first-floor roof.

A scheduling conflict prevented state fire marshal’s investigators from coming out Thursday, but investigators from the office plan to look into the matter at the beginning of next week, Safety Service Director Andrew Winemiller said.

A fire at the historic Washington Avenue building trapped six people on the rooftop Monday when smoke blocked their way down a stairwell. They were stuck on the roof in 38-degree weather because the fire escape ladder had been removed over the summer.

The building’s owners were given permission by Chief Building Official William Desvari to remove the ladder, but Lorain Fire Chief Tom Brown said it was illegal to remove the ladder, citing the state fire and building codes.

According to the code, fire exits must be no more than 50 feet from the furthest point or dead end in the hallway of an apartment building.

Contact Adam Wright at 329-7151 or awright@chroniclet.com.