Councilmembers to Discuss Fire Inspections, Code Compliance

Montgomery County Councilmembers plan to discuss fire safety following a deadly apartment blaze last month.

Councilmembers will hold a joint committee meeting Tuesday morning to discuss fire inspections and fire code compliance. On Monday, Council President Evan Glass noted renewed attention to fire safety following a deadly high-rise apartment fire last month in which a woman died and hundreds of tenants were displaced. 

Staff from the Department of Permitting Services (DPS) and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) will join for the briefing and discussion, per council documents.

“My colleagues and I want to ensure that the county is doing everything possible to protect residents and take the necessary steps to prevent these types of tragedies in the future,” Glass said during a media briefing.

The State Fire Marshal has already mandated that all residential high-rise buildings be fully sprinkled by 2033, according to the county.

Glass said there are still dozens of buildings in Montgomery County that are not retrofitted with sprinkler systems.

He noted councilmembers and County Executive Marc Elrich sent a letter to support a new state-level bill named after 25-year-old Melanie Diaz, who died in the fire at Arrive Silver Spring. The bill would codify into law that all high-rise buildings be protected by an automatic sprinkler system after January 1, 2033. It would also require buildings to note in all main entrances and in the lease if there is not a complete automatic sprinkler system.

Tuesday’s meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. and will be livestreamed.

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