Investigators say Sevierville cabin did not have sprinkler syste

Investigators say Sevierville cabin did not have sprinkler system


By Stephanie Beecken

6 News Reporter

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - 6 News asked officials if the cabin fire in Sevierville could have been prevented and if the cabin was up to code.

Breenen said "this particular cabin no did not have a sprinkler system."

According to Breeden, when asking the renters, who were staying in the cabin, if the fire alarm was working some said yes others said no.

The cabin was built in 2004 and at that time, according to Sevier County Planning Director Jeff Ownby, there were only state building codes the cabin owner had to follow.

"There were requirements for smoke detectors. The fire department has been great in working with cabin owners and rental companies to make sure their cabins are equipped with working smoke detectors," said Ownby.

Five years after the cabin was build, in 2009, the county adopted building codes. But cabins built before 2009 do not have to comply with the newer regulations.

"There are thousands of rental cabins in this county, as you all know so very well, so it would be virtually impossible to go back and require them to meet current code so that's not a provision of the law," said Ownby.

Ownby says codes require cabins to now have a sprinkler system and at least one entrance and exit door. This cabin did have two doors to the outside.

"You probably wouldn't know that there's an exit on that lower floor if you're staying on an upper floor so that kind of familiarity can help in a situation like this," said Ownby.

Ownby recommends that every one make an exit plan when the are staying somewhere unfamiliar.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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