there was just one stairwell and it was cluttered. NPR quotes a tenant’s harrowing escape from a lower floor. “He described a perilous situation: ‘Only one fire escape to get down, and apparently that caught on fire,’ he said. ‘And the fire alarm that was going off, that wouldn’t have woken no one up. It was as silent as it could be.’”
Among the other failures was the management’s decision to ignore tenant warnings about fire safety. There’s some evidence from residents that efforts to communicate tenant concerns were met with threats of retaliation. O’Sullivan asserts, “When protests about KCTMO [the management/development company] appeared on the residents’ association blog, the borough had lawyers send letters demanding the post be taken down…People living in the block were either ignored or threatened by contractors when they raised their concerns.”
What’s not clear yet is why local government, which owns the property, failed to address tenants’ concerns. Could it be that public officials believed that they outsourced their duty to citizen safety?