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Smoke detectors found expired after fatal apartment fire


By Samiar Nefzi

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    Winston-Salem, North Carolina (WLOS) — Two are dead and another is in the hospital following an apartment fire in Winston-Salem.

The Winston-Salem Fire Department responded to an apartment fire on White Meadow Lane early Sunday morning.

“I just happened to smell something burning,” said Brian Sanders, a resident at the complex. “When I came to the door, there was a whole bunch of fire coming out of the window, so I ran and got my kids and went outside.”

Inside the apartment were three people, including 21-year-old Anthony King, who died on scene.

Two were then taken to Wake Forest, where a ten-month-old child passed away and an 18-year-old woman is in critical condition.

“I knew that woman and baby was over there, so I grabbed my water hose out of there, unhooked my washer and hook the hose up,” said John Davis, a resident next apartment. ” I started spraying the fire out”

According to the Winston-Salem Fire Department, the fire started in the kitchen because of unattended cooking.

“The fire could’ve been prevented,” Assistant Chief Byrum said. “Unattended cooking is the number one cause of house fires in Winston-Salem and nationally.

Two smoke detectors were inside, but they weren’t working.

According to Assistant Chief Byrum, one didn’t have a battery in the detector, while the other showed no signs of also working.

Byrum explained the detectors were way past expiration since they were manufactured in 2003.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures:

“Unless the landlord and the tenant have a written agreement to the contrary, the landlord shall place new batteries in a battery-operated smoke detector at the beginning of a tenancy and the tenant shall replace the batteries as needed during the tenancy.”

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