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Longboat Key Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2010 7 years ago

Chief stresses necessary fire evacuations Keywide

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Longboat Key Fire Rescue Interim Fire Chief Paul Dezzi expressed concerns when no one evacuated from The Islander Club’s south tower Monday, April 26, after a fire broke out on the 11th floor.

Longboat Key Fire Rescue responded within minutes to a 911 call from a Key resident who reported a fire in his kitchen stove.

The fire was contained to the stove, and smoke was contained to the man’s unit and the hallway outside of the unit. Dezzi was dismayed to discover the tower was not evacuated and the residents did not heed the warnings of a new voice-automated, emergency-response system that was installed in both north-and- south towers this winter.

The 911 caller, Dezzi said, also did not heed warnings from the 911 dispatcher to leave his smoke-filled unit.

“Nobody in the building decided to evacuate and everyone should have,” Dezzi said.

Dezzi said condominium residents typically become complacent because they hear alarms in their buildings going off constantly.

And residents of The Islander Club have had more than their fair share of alarm warnings lately.
Islander Club Property Manager Robert Mastrippolito said residents of both towers recently installed a $1.2 million fire-safety project that included a new automated system and fire-sprinkler system.

“The last four months have consisted of so many alarm tests,” Mastrippolito said. “But the system does differentiate from a test and a real fire-threat warning.”

To make residents more aware of future fire threats, Dezzi and Mastrippolito will review the condominium’s emergency plan and fire-drill procedures with residents Monday, May 3.

Dezzi said all condominiums should perform a practice fire drill at least once a year and hold fire-education classes at least three times a year.

Contact Kurt Schulteis at [email protected].

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