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Six Die In Greenville Hotel Fire


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JAN 26/2004 — An installed automatic fire sprinkler system could have prevented a fire from spreading at the Comfort Inn Hotel in Greenville, SC Sunday morning. The fire caused six deaths and multiple injuries. According to local officials, the five-story hotel, built in the 1980's, was not required to have fire sprinklers because of the codes that were enforced at that time. In a press release issued by the American Fire Sprinkler Association, AFSA President Steve Muncy said these tragedies will continue to occur until all hotels and motels are required to have fire sprinklers. "It is imperative that Congress pass HR 1824, the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act, to provide tax incentives to install sprinklers," Muncy said. "We know the solution to this problem. HR 1824 will help hotel operators pay for that solution." HR 1824, introduced last April by Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA) and Congressman James Langevin (D-RI), will amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to classify automatic fire sprinkler systems as five-year property for purposes of depreciation. This allows the cost of the system to be depreciated much more quickly, five years versus 39 years.

Update at May 9, 2006 ;

Committee to consider death penalty in 2004 Greenville hotel fire case

(Greenville-AP) May 9, 2006 - Attorneys in the federal case for the man charged with setting a hotel fire that killed six people said Tuesday they will go to Washington this summer.
The attorneys in the Eric Preston Hans case will meet with the committee that evaluates whether authorities should seek the death penalty.

The 35-year-old Taylors man has pleaded not guilty to arson in the 2004 fire at a Greenville Comfort Inn. Eleven people were also injured in that blaze.

Assistant US Attorney Regan Pendleton and Hans' defense attorneys met for a status conference Tuesday in front of US District Judge Henry M. Herlong Junior.

Herlong delayed Hans' trial in February to give lawyers more time to handle the case.

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