BFD report: Terra Trace fire alarm not heard, not operating in some apartments

POSTED AT 05:58 PM ON Oct. 20, 2011 


Investigators still do not know the exact cause of an apartment fire that killed IU freshman Renee Ohrn, but the apartment where her body was found had no operable smoke detectors.

According to a report released Wednesday by the Bloomington Fire Department, a resident of apartment D9, where Ohrn was staying, said he removed the smoke detector the day before the Oct. 1 fire “because it had been going off and was annoying.”
The report said detectors or remains of detectors were found in almost every other apartment.

“[The] D11 detector was not found but had a large amount of damage and the ceiling had fallen,” investigator Tim Clapp said in the report.

According to interview notes in the report, a woman who lived on the third floor, where Ohrn was found, said she pulled the fire alarm, but nothing happened, and no alarms were sounded.

In his initial inspection, Clapp said in the report on an initial inspection on the morning after the fire, he found an electrical panel with two breakers labeled “fire alarm” in the off position.

The report also stated the cause of the fire was accidental and the area of origin was near a ceiling light in unit D8, directly below the apartment where Ohrn was found.

No signs of accelerant were found, but heavy damage was found both in the ceiling of the apartment D8 and the floor of D9.

— Charles Scudder


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