Builder Reduced Height of Building to Avoid Installing Fire Sprinklers
Sydney, Australia -- A builder is being partially blamed for the death of a 21 year old woman who was forced to jump from the 5th floor of a building because fire sprinklers weren't installed.
The builder is being accused of changing the design at the last minute to avoid mandatory fire sprinkler installation in the building. Pingkang "Connie" Zhang died on September 6, 2012 when a ferocious fire enveloped her apartment. She was forced to jump from her fifth-story window and died. An investigation determined that had fire sprinklers been installed, she would have most likely survived.
Builder Raymond Finianos of Silky Construction is accused of reducing the building height by 100 mm to avoid having to install fire sprinklers.
In an interview this exchange occurred:
"Mr. Johnson is expected to give evidence that he was instructed to by you to reduce the level by 100mm," said Mr. Rushton (counsel in the case).
"No, I don't know why he did that," said Mr. Finianos.
"He just made the decision himself, did he?" returned Mr. Rushton.
"Possibly," said Mr. Finianos.
"It's bleedingly obvious that developers and builders go under 25 metres because that saves them the cost of fire safety measures including fire sprinklers," said Mr. Rushton.
Mr. Finianos continued to deny.