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A fire has burnt through a Honolulu high-rise apartment complex that was not equipped with sprinklers, leaving at least three people dead and 12 more injured, with hundreds having to flee their homes.
The fire started on the 26h floor of the Marco Polo building, where the three dead bodies were found according to Fire Chief Neves.
“Without a doubt if there were sprinklers in this apartment, the fire would be contained to the unit of origin,” he said.
Firefighters have been searching the damaged areas for more people, and at least one firefighter has been injured.
Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell commented, saying “we have a very tragic situation with three confirmed fatalities”.
There are still residents who are yet to be accounted for, with the firefighters conducting door-to-door searches.
The building was built in 1971, three years before legislation mandated that buildings constructed needed to have sprinklers.
Mr Caldwell raised the issue, saying the city needs to look into passing a law requiring older building to be updated to include sprinklers.
“The biggest argument is the affordability,” Caldwell said.
“Residents have to pay. It’s pretty expensive. But if it saves a life and it’s your life, it’s worth the cost.”