Shelton (WTNH) - A three alarm blaze broke out at Shelton High School this afternoon. Luckily, school was not in session, but a recent Count on 8 Investigation revealed that the section of the school where the fire started did not have a sprinkler system.
The fire broke out in a second floor storage room around 1 p.m. It's a section of Shelton High School were News Channel 8 uncovered that there were no fire sprinklers in an apparent violation of the State Fire Safety Code.
"It was an original section of the building that contains no sprinklers in it," said Asst. Chief Michael Ullrich of the Shelton FD.
But News Channel 8 wanted to know if the lack of sprinklers caused the fire to spread today.
"It perhaps could have controlled the fire and knock it down in a more of a timely fashion," said Ullrich.
In November, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti and others seemingly downplayed the problem.
"I do know, thankfully, that there are very few incidents that occur in a building like this and that there's not much that can burn except paper and people," Mayor Lauretti said.
Ironically, the fire today started in a room used to store paper.
The city recently spent over $20 million to build an addition to the school. They spent millions on a new roof and heating and cooling system that sustained heavy damage in today's fire. But they did not install sprinklers in the original building.
Members of the Shelton Board of Education who minimized the concerns raised in our investigation are not doing so now.
"It is an issue now," said James Orazietti from the Shelton Board of Education.
Shelton's Fire Marshal James Tortora insisted back in November that sprinklers were not required in the school saying, "According to the state the existing portion of the building did not need to be fire sprinklered."
Tortora would not comment to News Channel 8 when we approached him today.
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