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No smoke detector present in Scottsboro apartment fire that killed 3

Paula Smith, Brian Smith, and Jennifer Chapman all died in the fire that happened last Thursday.

Posted: Apr 9, 2018 10:12 PM

The apartment building fire in Scottsboro that killed 3 people last week has officially been ruled an accident by the Scottsboro Fire Department.

No smoke detectors were found in the apartment along Meadow Street.

The fire department told WAAY 31 it all started with a deep freezer in the kitchen of the downstairs apartment.

Paula Smith, Brian Smith, and Jennifer Chapman all died in the fire.

Nat Sisco lives just around the corner from where the fire happened and said this is a tragedy.

"This whole family lost their lives," said Sisco.

An attorney in Huntsville told WAAY 31 Alabama law says a landlord is responsible for supplying a working smoke detector for a house or apartment, even if the lease says the tenants are responsible for maintaining smoke detector after that.

WAAY 31 went digging through public property tax records and found the owner of the apartment building.

We gave him a call to find out why he didn't put a smoke detector in each unit, but we didn't get a call back.

Neither the Scottsboro Building Inspector, nor the Scottsboro Fire Department could tell WAAY 31 the last time the building had been inspected.

The building inspector told us they don't inspect a building unless major renovations have been made, which did not happen with these apartments.

"It's kind of surprising you wouldn't have maybe at least every few years an inspection, especially on a building where several families living in it. That's even more important I would think," said Sisco.

The attorney WAAY 31 talked to told us the landlord of the apartment building could end up facing criminal charges.

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