Fire Codes - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/20/07 - Lufkin

Fire Codes

by Tashun Chism

As Cooper Castleberry walks around the slab of concrete where his furniture store used to be, he can still remember the night it burned down.

"I used to think that I could relate to people that had fires but you can't unless you've experienced one. It's as bad a thing that can happen to you as there is," he said.

He says the recent story about nine firefighters who died fighting a fire at a furnitire warehouse in South Carolina brought back bad memories.

"I looked on the internet and there it was, and it brought back a lot of haunting terrible memories. And then the thankfulness that that didn't happen here," Castleberry told us.

But, Castleberry is also thankful he was able to move on and rebuild another furniture store.

Just like the one in South Carolina, Castleberry's old funiture store didn't have a sprinkler system.

"Oddly enough, you would think me off all people, that would be the first thing that I did. But we really never ever considered it," he said.

That's because business owners have to weigh expense against the law.

The city fire code only requires mecantile buildings of 12,000 square feet or more to have sprinklers.

Castleberry tells us since his new building is only about 10,000 square feet, he again chose to forgo the the expense of installing sprinklers.

But he admits sprinkler systems are good to have in place and says he can only hope his new store doesn't catch on fire like the old one.

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