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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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"AvalonBay has followed through on returning security deposits to the 500 or so permanently displaced residents, pro-rated their January rent bills, set up a dedicated hotline and offered $1,000 to help with short-term expenses, according to numerous tenants."

Oh gosh thank you Lord for trickling down this generous $1000 and pro-rating our rent bill! Even if this is just the law, the way it is done is just so typical of this company. I rented at Avalon Cove during the late 90s and the management seemed always aloof of resident concerns. It is clearly trickling down from the top of the organization, greed above all. I wish the ex-tenants legal action the best, or shall we say a "luxury" treatment. Be greedy folks.

Posted on: 2015/2/5 0:03
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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user1111 wrote:
Three days after a massive fire at the Avalon at Edgewater displaced about 1,000 residents, the real estate company's public relations firm suggested a list of upbeat, praise-filled talking points to the county's top elected official, internal emails obtained by NJ Advance Media show.

There are no apologies to be found in the memo, nor does the email sent by Washington D.C.-based public relations firm Kreab to Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco's communications staff on Jan. 23 acknowledge the challenges displaced tenants face in the wake of the 7-alarm fire, which officials say was accidentally caused by AvalonBay's maintenance staff.

Instead, Kreab suggests that Tedesco praise the billion-dollar real estate trust for its efforts at his press conference later that day, according to emails obtained by NJ Advance Media through a public records request filed with the county.

"You learn a lot about a company and its people during challenging times -- I can tell you AvalonBay really stepped up to the plate to support its residents, the town and others," reads the first talking point suggested to Tedesco.

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These greedy developers don't give a shit about you... All they care about is their "Luxury Rent"

Posted on: 2015/2/4 21:49
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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Three days after a massive fire at the Avalon at Edgewater displaced about 1,000 residents, the real estate company's public relations firm suggested a list of upbeat, praise-filled talking points to the county's top elected official, internal emails obtained by NJ Advance Media show.

There are no apologies to be found in the memo, nor does the email sent by Washington D.C.-based public relations firm Kreab to Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco's communications staff on Jan. 23 acknowledge the challenges displaced tenants face in the wake of the 7-alarm fire, which officials say was accidentally caused by AvalonBay's maintenance staff.

Instead, Kreab suggests that Tedesco praise the billion-dollar real estate trust for its efforts at his press conference later that day, according to emails obtained by NJ Advance Media through a public records request filed with the county.

"You learn a lot about a company and its people during challenging times -- I can tell you AvalonBay really stepped up to the plate to support its residents, the town and others," reads the first talking point suggested to Tedesco.

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Posted on: 2015/2/4 21:45
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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This is on the avalon bay website:

BUILDING STRONG

A COMMITMENT TO INTEGRITY
Do the right thing - always

A SPIRIT OF CARING
Genuine kindness and concern for others

A FOCUS ON CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
Always trying to do better

------

Here is a list of avalon's other developments to avoid..unless you like to live in a tinderbox

New Jersey

BLOOMFIELD
Avalon Bloomfield Station
300 Glenwood Ave., Suite 100 Bloomfield, NJ 07003
(732) 404-4850

BLOOMINGDALE
Avalon Bloomingdale
1000 Avalon Way Bloomingdale, NJ 07403
(866) 353-0609

EDGEWATER
Avalon at Edgewater
100 River Mews Lane Edgewater, NJ 07020

FLORHAM PARK
Avalon at Florham Park
One Florence Drive Florham Park, NJ 07932
(866) 216-8052

FREEHOLD
Avalon at Freehold
100 Lambert Way Freehold, NJ 07728
(866) 226-9690

HACKENSACK
Avalon Hackensack at Riverside
414 Hackensack Avenue Hackensack, NJ 07601
(866) 964-1494

JERSEY CITY
Avalon Cove
444 Washington Boulevard Jersey City, NJ 07310
(866) 958-9402

LAWRENCEVILLE
Avalon Run
100 AvalonBay Drive Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
(866) 884-0393

Avalon Run East
100 AvalonBay Drive Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
(866) 956-5359

LYNDHURST
Avalon Lyndhurst
1301 Wall Street Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
(866) 851-3859

NORTH BERGEN
Avalon North Bergen
5665 Kennedy Blvd., Ste 1 North Bergen, NJ 07047
(866) 408-2560

Full list including other states:
http://www.avaloncommunities.com/community-list

Posted on: 2015/1/30 18:36
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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By Seth Augenstein | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on January 30, 2015 at 11:08 AM, updated January 30, 2015 at 11:53 AM

Calling the Edgewater apartment building that burned last week a "virtual tinderbox," a state Assemblyman has proposed halting all multi-family developments in New Jersey until the state's building code can be revised.

"The Edgewater inferno makes it clear that we need new and improved building standards in New Jersey in order to protect residents and first responders," said Scott Rumana (R- Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris). "The lightweight wood construction used to build the Edgewater complex is the reason the fire raced through the luxury apartment development so quickly."

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Posted on: 2015/1/30 17:21
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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ka5ia wrote:
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Annod wrote:
Does anyone know the sprinkler law in Jersey City? My current place(high-rise) and my previous place(low-rise) have sprinklers in the closets and bathrooms. Is that the law in Jersey City?


Q&A: Should N.J. building codes change in wake of Edgewater complex blaze?
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015 ... of_edge.html#incart_river


http://www.jfahern.com/news/nfpa-13-versus-13r

http://www.nfpa.org/newsandpublicatio ... sible-sprinkler-omissions


In a residential building, I don't think sprinklers go by the height of the building but more so by the amount of families/dwellings in the building. I want to say once you go past 3 families/apartments, you are required to have sprinklers. As for whether they are required in closets or bathrooms, I'm not too sure about that. I can try looking it up in the IBC or IFC one of these days. (I work for an architect.)


Sprinklers are required in high-rise buildings because the water pressure from the fire hydrants and the fire dept. pumper trucks can only spray water only so high I think it's up to the 12th floor. Don't quote me on the height.
Banks and insurance companies also require sprinklers in high rises or the projects won't get financing or insurance coverage.

Posted on: 2015/1/29 21:09
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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Annod wrote:
Does anyone know the sprinkler law in Jersey City? My current place(high-rise) and my previous place(low-rise) have sprinklers in the closets and bathrooms. Is that the law in Jersey City?


Q&A: Should N.J. building codes change in wake of Edgewater complex blaze?
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015 ... of_edge.html#incart_river


http://www.jfahern.com/news/nfpa-13-versus-13r

http://www.nfpa.org/newsandpublicatio ... sible-sprinkler-omissions


In a residential building, I don't think sprinklers go by the height of the building but more so by the amount of families/dwellings in the building. I want to say once you go past 3 families/apartments, you are required to have sprinklers. As for whether they are required in closets or bathrooms, I'm not too sure about that. I can try looking it up in the IBC or IFC one of these days. (I work for an architect.)

Posted on: 2015/1/29 20:37
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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Does anyone know the sprinkler law in Jersey City? My current place(high-rise) and my previous place(low-rise) have sprinklers in the closets and bathrooms. Is that the law in Jersey City?


Q&A: Should N.J. building codes change in wake of Edgewater complex blaze?
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015 ... of_edge.html#incart_river


http://www.jfahern.com/news/nfpa-13-versus-13r

http://www.nfpa.org/newsandpublicatio ... sible-sprinkler-omissions

Posted on: 2015/1/29 20:15
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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Giovanna wrote:
One of the commenters on NJ.com said that firewalls are required between townhouse/condo units (new, wood construction), but since Avalon is an apartment building, those codes don't apply.


I'm pretty sure that a min of 1-hr rated walls are required between units and around staircases in apartment buildings.

I don't know what the code calls for in Edgewater but I do know that this applies to construction in Jersey City and Bayonne.


I think you're correct. I subsequently asked a friend who works in construction, and he said that there should be fire walls in between units but that "common areas" such as an attic would not require fire walls.

Posted on: 2015/1/29 19:11
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Giovanna wrote:
One of the commenters on NJ.com said that firewalls are required between townhouse/condo units (new, wood construction), but since Avalon is an apartment building, those codes don't apply.


I'm pretty sure that a min of 1-hr rated walls are required between units and around staircases in apartment buildings.

I don't know what the code calls for in Edgewater but I do know that this applies to construction in Jersey City and Bayonne.

Posted on: 2015/1/29 16:32
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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If you're sick of water(snow), how about some fire?

Edgewater tenants file class action lawsuit against AvalonBay in wake of devastating fire
http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/20 ... ction_lawsuit_agains.html

Princeton seeks 'emergent review' of building codes for AvalonBay project following Edgewater fire
http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/20 ... s_to_review_building.html

Posted on: 2015/1/27 2:42
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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mfadam wrote:
so what can you do if you live in a wood frame place to minimize potential fires? I guess stoppers if you open up your walls and see balloon framing. Any other ideas?

My guess is the vast majority of JC residents live in homes with wood framing of one sort or another.


Blow in cellulose or rock wool insulation. Adding both to a 1 hour fire wall (1 layer of 5/8 inch type X drywall on each side) adds 15 minutes to the fire rating. The stuff works. I had a fire over a year ago via a dropped cigarette on a windowsill. The insulation held the fire in place until the fire department came and put it out. Damage was minor, though the tenant got a little bit freaked out.





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Posted on: 2015/1/24 14:59
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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Annod wrote:
Insurance requirement could shield Avalon renters

JANUARY 23, 2015, 4:37 PM LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 23, 2015, 10:39 PM
BY KATHLEEN LYNN
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD

Most of the tenants whose belongings were destroyed in the Avalon at Edgewater apartment complex inferno this week are expected to recover at least some of their losses through renters insurance, which the landlord requires.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/insur ... -avalon-renters-1.1239042

Will this cover unlicensed plumbers such as that handyman that was using the blowtorch ?

Posted on: 2015/1/24 14:43
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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Based on the serious flaws exposed in the construction, I now wonder if insurers will have some qualm in providing coverage to tenants living in these kind of construction in which case AVB will have to steep in. For people who did not have insurance or let theirs lapse, I wonder whether these flaws will help them build a case for some kind of refund. The AVB statement could be helpful in that regard by stating the obvious, that once a fire start in one condo, the complex is not designed to prevent it to from propagating to others.

It will be interesting to see if there is some kind of group action. It is not the first time it happened, in the early 2000 a self-organized tenant association formed after huge utility bills exposed flaws in construction of their new tower in Newport.

Posted on: 2015/1/24 13:15
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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Annod wrote:
Insurance requirement could shield Avalon renters

JANUARY 23, 2015, 4:37 PM LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 23, 2015, 10:39 PM
BY KATHLEEN LYNN
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD

Most of the tenants whose belongings were destroyed in the Avalon at Edgewater apartment complex inferno this week are expected to recover at least some of their losses through renters insurance, which the landlord requires.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/insur ... -avalon-renters-1.1239042


I'm glad you posted this. The subject of insurance was a big conversation at my partner's work yesterday. Surprisingly, A LOT of the renters DID NOT have insurance. That's just nuts. My condo requires rental insurance but doesn't check to see if you maintain coverage past the time you first enter the building.

I have an auto/renter's policy with Progressive and the renter's policy is incredibly cheap. I will check the hotel provision, though, to see if we're covered.

This is a good reminder for renters for sure.

Posted on: 2015/1/24 4:04
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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Insurance requirement could shield Avalon renters

JANUARY 23, 2015, 4:37 PM LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 23, 2015, 10:39 PM
BY KATHLEEN LYNN
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD

Most of the tenants whose belongings were destroyed in the Avalon at Edgewater apartment complex inferno this week are expected to recover at least some of their losses through renters insurance, which the landlord requires.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/insur ... -avalon-renters-1.1239042

Posted on: 2015/1/24 3:53
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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mfadam wrote:
so what can you do if you live in a wood frame place to minimize potential fires? I guess stoppers if you open up your walls and see balloon framing. Any other ideas?

My guess is the vast majority of JC residents live in homes with wood framing of one sort or another.


Why stop at stoppers, just brick up the bays like this! I couldn't believe it when I saw what was in the walls, all the exterior walls of this frame house and at least one interior are filled with bricks. I've yet to talk to someone in the trades who says "yeah, I've seen that".

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Posted on: 2015/1/23 22:03
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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so what can you do if you live in a wood frame place to minimize potential fires? I guess stoppers if you open up your walls and see balloon framing. Any other ideas?

My guess is the vast majority of JC residents live in homes with wood framing of one sort or another.

Posted on: 2015/1/23 19:57
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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JGJDNYCJC wrote:
We had a fire-related evac in my building (Gulls Cove) last summer. Turns out, I evacuated my family unnecessarily.

Fire chief came by a few weeks later and explained to us that for steel and concrete structures, each apt is a fire-proof box, as required by code.

So long as the fire isn't on your floor or the ones above or below you, you could in fact stay put and await further instructions. This way not everyone is stampeding to escape the building.

The low rise rental communities are among the worst as they're pretty much all wood.

Fire usually doesn't kill, it's the smoke that you should be afraid of.

Posted on: 2015/1/23 16:56
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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The component of the new construction that blows my mind is the open frame engineered joists, basically a tinkertoy of 2x4. It's cheap and makes it easy to run pipe and wire, but picture how a fire a will spread under a whole floor once it pierces the ceiling below.

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Posted on: 2015/1/23 16:51
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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Frank_M wrote:
The larger and taller a building is, obviously the longer it takes to evacuate. Therefore, within a given occupancy class, fire-resistance rating requirements for walls, floors, roofs and partitions increase as allowable building area and height increase.


This is true. In my high-rise we've been instructed by the fire department to actually stay inside our apartments with the door closed and to put a wet towel against the bottom of the door to prevent smoke seeping in. High rises built in recent years have actually been required to meet a very strict code that's designed to contain a fire, if one does break out, to a limited area. There was a case last year of a fire breaking out in a high rise in Manhattan and the two fatalities were a couple who tried to evacuate but were overcome by smoke in the stairwell. The residents who stayed put, even next door to the apartment on fire, were fine.

I love how people here tar all new construction as bad construction - as if wood frame Victorian homes don't burn like matchboxes.


when I lived in Manhattan in a brownstone the brownstone building next door caught fire and was completely engulfed in 15 minutes. All brownstone/Victorian homes are of wood frame construction and are potential firetraps. The adjoining brick wall between the buildings prevented the building I was living in from suffering the same fate.

Posted on: 2015/1/23 16:44
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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JGJDNYCJC wrote:
Fire chief came by a few weeks later and explained to us that for steel and concrete structures, each apt is a fire-proof box, as required by code.


Your building is protected by fire rated construction--it is absolutely not fire proof. The resistance rating gives you time to evacuate, sprinklers to do their job, and/or firefighters an opportunity to combat a fire before the building is further compromised.

Posted on: 2015/1/23 16:14
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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Frank_M wrote:
The larger and taller a building is, obviously the longer it takes to evacuate. Therefore, within a given occupancy class, fire-resistance rating requirements for walls, floors, roofs and partitions increase as allowable building area and height increase.


This is true. In my high-rise we've been instructed by the fire department to actually stay inside our apartments with the door closed and to put a wet towel against the bottom of the door to prevent smoke seeping in. High rises built in recent years have actually been required to meet a very strict code that's designed to contain a fire, if one does break out, to a limited area. There was a case last year of a fire breaking out in a high rise in Manhattan and the two fatalities were a couple who tried to evacuate but were overcome by smoke in the stairwell. The residents who stayed put, even next door to the apartment on fire, were fine.

I love how people here tar all new construction as bad construction - as if wood frame Victorian homes don't burn like matchboxes.

Posted on: 2015/1/23 15:43
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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We had a fire-related evac in my building (Gulls Cove) last summer. Turns out, I evacuated my family unnecessarily.

Fire chief came by a few weeks later and explained to us that for steel and concrete structures, each apt is a fire-proof box, as required by code.

So long as the fire isn't on your floor or the ones above or below you, you could in fact stay put and await further instructions. This way not everyone is stampeding to escape the building.

The low rise rental communities are among the worst as they're pretty much all wood.

Posted on: 2015/1/23 15:37
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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Vigilante wrote:
Anyone who has seen the newer construction in downtown JC could tell you how cheap and flimsy the materials are that are used. The only building I would move into is the Hamilton Place building and that's because it was built on the bones of the old St. Francis Hospital.


Most the new buildings are much less flimsy than this. It's the new short buildings that are the real problems because they can use very cheap materials. Avalon Cove here in Jersey City is a classic example. The taller buildings are all reinforced concrete and steel and much more stable and fire-resistant.

Posted on: 2015/1/23 15:30
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bodhipooh wrote:
I was equally struck by the quote that "The purpose of those codes is not to prevent the building from burning down, but rather to ensure that there is sufficient time and opportunity for all occupants to exit safely in the event of a fire". I wonder if that is a true statement, or just his opinion, or the imposed "company line" given the recent events.


Unlike what Smokey Bear taught us about forest fires, we cannot literally ?prevent? a building fire. We can only protect buildings from fire. That?s not a semantic cop-out to keep our lawyers happy, that?s just reality. Buildings are full of flammable objects and there?s no end to the number of variables that occupants can introduce.

The larger and taller a building is, obviously the longer it takes to evacuate. Therefore, within a given occupancy class, fire-resistance rating requirements for walls, floors, roofs and partitions increase as allowable building area and height increase.

Posted on: 2015/1/23 15:29
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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>I was equally struck by the quote that "The purpose of those
> codes is not to prevent the building from burning down, but
> rather to ensure that there is sufficient time and
> opportunity for all occupants to exit safely in the event
> of a fire".

I think this is true. If you look at how buildings and fire materials are described and rated, it is in terms of time bought:

"1 hour door".
"1/2 hour sheetrock"
cinderblock stairwells with fire-doors.

All designed and rated by the time they can hold a fire at bay and allow people to get out.

You see this also in the way firemen work, property damage is not even on the radar in terms of priorities.

Robin.

Posted on: 2015/1/23 15:01
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Frinjc wrote:
"Edgewater Fire Chief Tom Jacobson said earlier the lightweight, wooden construction of the Avalon Bay complex allowed the flames to spread so rapidly. In a statement released Thursday afternoon, AvalonBay Communities, owners of the complex, said the building met fire and safety codes.

"The purpose of those codes is not to prevent the building from burning down, but rather to ensure that there is sufficient time and opportunity for all occupants to exit safely in the event of a fire," the company wrote. "We are grateful that everyone at Avalon at Edgewater was able to leave the building and get to safety without serious injury."

To those at Avalon Cove, don't worry, in the event of a fire, all of your stuff will burn but you will have plenty of time to exit!! Be grateful of this opportunity!!


I was equally struck by the quote that "The purpose of those codes is not to prevent the building from burning down, but rather to ensure that there is sufficient time and opportunity for all occupants to exit safely in the event of a fire". I wonder if that is a true statement, or just his opinion, or the imposed "company line" given the recent events. Very sobering to know we are not to expect to be able to survive a fire and still have some belongings/property left to our name.


That was a textbook quote from someone who has spent too much time in investor relations. It's basically telling shareholders and Wall Street analysts not to freak out. No one died, so the company's liability/exposure is limited to loss of property rather than loss of life.

Posted on: 2015/1/23 14:48
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
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greenville wrote:
Are the Avalon Cove Apartments built the same way? The Edgewater buildings burned before and instead of learning from the previous fire they decided to build it the same way. This is why I do not like newly constructed buildings, since they had higher standards back in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s except for the asbestos and lead paint. Just imagine if this had been at night, we would certainly be looking at many casualties.


I think the key issue is that the maintenance workers chose to call in their supervisor instead of the firemen. By their own admission, 15 minutes transpired before firemen were called to the scene. That amount of time is like a lifetime when it comes to fires. I wonder how that call went... "hey, boss, we kinda f'ed up and started a fire. Can you come check it out? Maybe we can work it out so we don't get yelled out by the management? Oh, yeah, you may want to hurry, it looks bad..."

Posted on: 2015/1/23 14:46
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Re: Massive Edgewater fire
#48
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Frinjc wrote:
"Edgewater Fire Chief Tom Jacobson said earlier the lightweight, wooden construction of the Avalon Bay complex allowed the flames to spread so rapidly. In a statement released Thursday afternoon, AvalonBay Communities, owners of the complex, said the building met fire and safety codes.

"The purpose of those codes is not to prevent the building from burning down, but rather to ensure that there is sufficient time and opportunity for all occupants to exit safely in the event of a fire," the company wrote. "We are grateful that everyone at Avalon at Edgewater was able to leave the building and get to safety without serious injury."

To those at Avalon Cove, don't worry, in the event of a fire, all of your stuff will burn but you will have plenty of time to exit!! Be grateful of this opportunity!!


I was equally struck by the quote that "The purpose of those codes is not to prevent the building from burning down, but rather to ensure that there is sufficient time and opportunity for all occupants to exit safely in the event of a fire". I wonder if that is a true statement, or just his opinion, or the imposed "company line" given the recent events. Very sobering to know we are not to expect to be able to survive a fire and still have some belongings/property left to our name.

Posted on: 2015/1/23 14:42
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