Water To Sprinklers In Burning Warehouses Shut Down

Knoxville (AP) -- Knoxville fire investigators are trying to determine who disabled the sprinkler system in two warehouses, which caught fire last month.

A row of century-old warehouses were engulfed by flames and could not be saved by firefighters on February 7th.

Fire investigators believe the blaze was allowed to grow to the point that it consumed three buildings because the building where the fire started did not have a working sprinkler system.

Knoxville Fire Marshal Roger Byrd says the sprinkler system in the warehouses owned by Mark Saroff had been turned off before the fire started.

Fire investigators said the blaze began in one of Saroff's two warehouses.

Saroff said Friday he thought the system was working and couldn't recall the last time it was inspected.

Byrd said property owners are required to have sprinkler systems inspected annually, with the results to be maintained by the property owner.

Investigators have yet to say if arson is suspected in the blaze, which injured four firefighters.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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