Victims' Families Support Tougher Rules After Deadly Reno Fire

On the first anniversary of the city's deadliest fire, some victims' families are pressing the Reno City Council to require older residential buildings to have sprinkler systems.

Twelve people died of asphyxiation and 31 were injured in the Halloween night 2006 fire at the Mizpah Hotel, an 84-year-old building without sprinklers.

The hotel was not required to have sprinkler systems under state law unless someone bought it. City officials recommended in March 2006 that a potential Mizpah buyer install sprinklers, but the sale did not go through.

After a yearlong study, council members have so far decided not to require older hotels and motels - which account for a large bulk of the city's affordable housing - to be retrofitted with sprinkler systems because of the high cost involved.

But council members have endorsed Fire Chief Paul Wagner's plans to step up random inspections of the residential properties.

In March, the woman who set the fire, Valerie Moore, was sentenced to 12 consecutive life prison terms, one for each person killed in the blaze.


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