Missouri Fire Chief Questions Building Materials

July 20, 2012

A fire that destroyed a 197-unit apartment in St. Louis, Mo., is stirring debate about the use of lightweight, synthetic building materials over brick and real wood.

The fire broke out Tuesday night at the apartment complex in the city’s Central West End, near the Saint Louis University campus. No one was killed or injured but about 250 residents are displaced.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson initially thought the fire moved so quickly that the building lacked fire walls or other barriers. He later stepped back from those comments, but says he still has questions about the materials used for the building, even if they were allowed by code.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The building is a total loss.

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