Terra Trace Fire Raises Smoke Detector Inspection Questions

A Bloomington apartment fire that killed an Indiana University student earlier this month is sparking questions over smoke detector safety procedures.

Terre Trace Fire

Photo: Dan Goldblatt / WFIU News

The fire at the Terra Trace apartments killed 19-year-old Renee Ohrn.

Residents of the Terra Trace Apartments say they never heard smoke alarms when the flames broke out in the building October 1.

A spokeswoman for the complex says the building owners check the detectors when a tenant moves in or renews their lease, but it is up to the tenants to test the smoke detectors every six months to ensure they are in working order. Indiana Fire Marshall Jim Greeson echoes that statement, saying the renters bear some responsibility also.

“If it isn’t working properly, if it malfunctions, they are to notify the owner of that hotel, apartment building or residence,” Greeson says. “The owner has seven days to replace or repair it or fix it.”

Greeson says there is another layer of inspections involved, with inspectors checking large buildings like hotels and apartments every year.

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