Fire kills three in Tennessee retirement home

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A fire killed three residents and injured 12 people at a Maryville, TN retirement home Tuesday night. Privately-owned Home Away from Home Inc. housed 15 residents in a converted one-floor house devoid of an emergency sprinkler system, police said. Authorities are trying to determine the cause of the fire.

The fire in the home, located 15 miles from Knoxville, follows a devastating fire last September in Nashville that killed 15. That facility also did not have a sprinkler system in the wing where the fire started. Although the first facility struck by fire was exempt under a state sprinkler law for nursing homes that haven't been renovated since 1994, it was unclear whether Home Away from Home was exempt. State records show it had been licensed since 1988 to provide assisted living care.

 

The fire Tuesday night took firefighters than two hours to control, and most of the facility's roof collapsed.

 

In October, Sens. Bill Frist (R-TN) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) formally requested the General Accounting Office and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to look into fire-safety regulations.