Erie, PA – Fire Chief: There Was A Lack Of Smoke Detectors At Day Care Where 5 Children Died

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Erie Bureau of Fire Inspector Mark Polanski helps investigate a fatal fire at 1248 West 11th St. in Erie, Pa, on Aug. 11, 2019. Five children died in the early-morning fire. (AP Photo/Erie Times-News, Greg Wohlford)

Erie, PA – A fire chief says there weren’t enough working smoke detectors at a Pennsylvania home day care center where a fire killed five children.

Fire Chief Guy Santone told a Tuesday news conference that state officials who inspect home day care centers do not check for smoke detectors. City authorities and state legislators are working on legislation that would make home day care centers register with the city, so it can deploy inspectors.

A message seeking comment was left with the Department of Human Services.

Santone said fire officials suspect the blaze that broke out Sunday morning at Harris Family Daycare was accidental.

An adult and two adolescent boys were able to escape the fire. Five children ranging in age from 8 months to 7 years died.

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