Letter to the Editor: Regarding destructive fire in Kill Devil Hills

Published 6:57 am Saturday, June 26, 2021

To the Editor:

This week’s tragedy across from the Marriott KDH Hotel makes any Outer Banks visitor or resident amazed that there was, thankfully, no loss of life. Local firefighters (professional and volunteer) must be recognized for their outstanding service from multiple companies. The professional law enforcement from the KDH department and the joint efforts of the NC State Troopers and area Town Police both secured the area opened a fire lane and protected additional personal property by removing cars from the scene. We can all be so proud of their service and especially when there was no loss of life! Thank you all.

This tragedy raises the question of safety concerning these mammoth cottages being built along our ocean side that house over fifty people in over twenty bed rooms. The NC legislature and the local Kill Devil Hills Town Council must take steps to limit their size and location in congested neighborhoods and to require stringent safety measures.

A dwelling that houses over fifty people in twenty bedrooms should be required to install a sprinkler system (the OBX’s YMCA even was required to have a sprinkler system in the pool area!) for the multi-level home-tel. Concrete fire walls extending above the roof line impede the spread of a lower level blaze, and the installation of an outside fire escape as required by major rental apartments is a must. Lastly, the required parking space should be increased to cover all occupied rooms and for their guest (allowing for an emergency egress for emergency equipment.) This time we were fortunate all escaped, let us not tempt fate.

Ross Kearney

Kill Devil Hills

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