Man, 60, dies in 18-story leap to escape blaze

first_imgCouncilman Val Lerch, who heads the committee scheduled to discuss the sprinkler plan, said he thought, “Oh, my God, not another life,” when he heard about Wednesday’s fire at the Galaxy Towers. “I had one of the (fire) chiefs tell me today that if we had sprinklers in the Galaxy, it wouldn’t have even made the paper,” Lerch said. The lack of sprinklers has long been a problem in the city, which has a number of historic districts filled with Craftsman homes and older apartment complexes. The Galaxy Towers was built in 1966, before sprinklers were required. Thirteen condos were damaged in the fire, and 22 residents were displaced. Investigators believe the fire began in Crews’ condo, which was destroyed. LONG BEACH – A man jumped 18 stories to his death to escape a fire raging inside an oceanfront high-rise, one of more than 100 large residential buildings across the city that do not have sprinklers, authorities said Thursday. John Carlyle Crews, 60, died late Wednesday as flames raced across his condo at the Galaxy Towers. Onlookers watched helplessly as he flung himself off a balcony before firefighters could reach him. “There was a heavy amount of fire coming out of his apartment, and he had nowhere else to go,” said Firefighter Will Nash, a spokesman for the Long Beach Fire Department. The fire occurred less than a week before city officials are scheduled to discuss a sweeping plan that would require sprinkler retrofits in many of the city’s older buildings. The discussion was prompted after two people died in a December fire at a building that also did not have sprinklers. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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