December 20, 2014

Elyria
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Officials to rule on Antlers fire escape

LORAIN — City officials hope to know by this afternoon whether a fire escape ladder at Antlers Apartments was allowed to be taken down.

On Monday, state fire marshal investigators, along with officials from the Ohio Board of Building Standards, investigated the historic Washington Avenue buidling, where a fire broke out last week.

Smoke from the fire trapped six residents, including a 2 ½-year-old boy, on a first-floor rooftop where a fire escape ladder was removed over the summer. Chief Building Inspector Bill Desvari gave permission to the building owner to remove the ladder; however, fire Chief Tom Brown said that was a violation of the state fire code.

The fire marshal was brought in to determine what the law states.

The investigators also will make a recommendation to the city about whether the ladder needs to be replaced, Safety Service Director Andrew Winemiller said.

In the meantime, Antelers employees will monitor the building 24 hours a day to alert residents at the first sign of a fire.