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ByChuck Goudi And Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner

Thursday, April 6, 2023 12:18

The Chicago high-rise was cited for inspection violations before the deadly Gold Coast fires

As authorities investigate the cause of a deadly fire at a Gold Coast high-rise, ABC7's I-Team investigates a breach that city inspectors found in the high-rise.

RELATED: 3 CFD firefighters injured, 1 dead after fighting a fire at a Gold Coast high-rise

There are more than 260 residential units at 1212 N. Lake Shore Drive. Building breaches are among the things being examined by fire investigators and city inspectors as they try to determine what happened on Wednesday and whether it could have been prevented.

When Chicago Fire Department units arrived, the firefighters learned that the high-rise did not have sprinklers within each residence unit because sprinklers were not needed in high-rise residences built before 1975. The condo building at 1212 North Lake Shore Drive was under construction. in 1970.

In lieu of a residential unit sprinkler, city regulations require that pre-1975 high-rises submit a “Life Safety Evaluation” report. More than 600 buildings have done so. They must also pass regular inspections of notification and communication systems, fire doors and other equipment.

RELATED: Advisory board urges Chicago to re-evaluate fire safety regulations, calls for fire sprinklers

According to City of Chicago inspection records, five building code violations were issued to high-rises last fall because firewater connections were blocked by landscaping. Nearly a dozen other code violations were registered as of late 2021, most of them highlighting firefighting equipment and fire safety inspection issues.

The building is listed in city records for allegedly failing to repair and maintain the standpipe system that firefighters use for water connections; and for allegedly failing to submit an annual inspection of the fire pump and sprinklers in the garage.

Browse Chicago Building Violations by Address

Chicago Building Department officials called the past few days in Chicago “devastating and unprecedented” with two firefighters killed, another injured, and several residents injured. There has been no further word from CFD officials about the latest fatal fire, in which their crew had to climb stairs because an elevator stopped working during the blaze.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with the families, friends and colleagues of the fallen firefighters who responded to today's fires. We are taking steps to help residents of buildings affected by fires. We remain in touch with the Chicago Fire Department as they investigate the fire,” First Residential Service, the building's management company, said in a statement.

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