East Williamsburg church had no sprinkler system; many other buildings exempt from sprinkler reqirements

Buildings that have been standing for over 90 years are exempt from the sprinkler requirement – like the church.

Katelynn Ulrich and Adolfo Carrion

Apr 2, 2024, 10:12 PM

Updated 12 days ago

Share:

The East Williamsburg church that burned in an Easter fire did not have a sprinkler system, and News 12 is learning more about some of the fire hazards that Our Lady of Pompeii and other places in the city may have.
The city’s retired fire commissioner says that the fire grew so big at the church that firefighters had to fight it from the outside, making it extremely difficult.
"Had a sprinkler system would have been in place that would have been activated before our arrival and kept the fire contained to one area before we could get there,” said the retired commissioner.
The church isn’t required to have a sprinkler system. Most city buildings are, following a 2008 fire code revision, but buildings that have been standing for over 90 years are exempt – like the church.
The Brooklyn Catholic Diocese says that the FDNY regularly inspects churches and that since only new buildings are required to have them, there’s no immediate plan to install one at Our Lady of Pompeii.
"I think what would happen is if we made the law retroactive and said every church in our city must install a sprinkler system; most just couldn't comply,” said a member of the diocese.


More from News 12
2:05
Community advocates say they'll call for changes in aftermath of NYPD's decision in Kawaski Trawick case

Community advocates say they'll call for changes in aftermath of NYPD's decision in Kawaski Trawick case

1:47
STORM WATCH: Scattered strong storms overnight in New York City

STORM WATCH: Scattered strong storms overnight in New York City

0:25
Police: Man who punched 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Terminal arrested

Police: Man who punched 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Terminal arrested

0:28
Israel hails success in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack. G7 democracies condemn attack

Israel hails success in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack. G7 democracies condemn attack

0:43
NYPD: Victims identified, arrest made in Fordham crash that killed 2

NYPD: Victims identified, arrest made in Fordham crash that killed 2

1:22
FDNY: Cement truck overturns on Cross Bronx Expressway entrance ramp in West Farms

FDNY: Cement truck overturns on Cross Bronx Expressway entrance ramp in West Farms

1:40
Demonstrators outside Kings Plaza Mall push for changes to immigration policy

Demonstrators outside Kings Plaza Mall push for changes to immigration policy

1:27
NYPD deploys resources to places of worship amid increased Middle East tensions

NYPD deploys resources to places of worship amid increased Middle East tensions

1:27
Lickety Split Ice Cream in City Island to mark 20 years in business

Lickety Split Ice Cream in City Island to mark 20 years in business

0:35
2 men arrested, accused in Fordham jewelry store armed robbery

2 men arrested, accused in Fordham jewelry store armed robbery

2:04
CDC: Most women do not get a mammogram because of financial difficulties

CDC: Most women do not get a mammogram because of financial difficulties

0:58
Police: 3 New York City residents arrested for organized retail theft at New Jersey mall

Police: 3 New York City residents arrested for organized retail theft at New Jersey mall

0:32
MTA police: Man punched 9-year-old girl in face at Grand Central Terminal

MTA police: Man punched 9-year-old girl in face at Grand Central Terminal

1:41
Street vendors on Fordham Road say rise in summonses is making it difficult to make a living

Street vendors on Fordham Road say rise in summonses is making it difficult to make a living

1:32
NYPD: Crash in Fordham leaves 2 men dead

NYPD: Crash in Fordham leaves 2 men dead

1:39
What you need to know about this weekend's L train closure

What you need to know about this weekend's L train closure

0:22
Police: 14-year-old girl from Soundview reported missing

Police: 14-year-old girl from Soundview reported missing

1:38
Community baby shower in Brownsville aims to help underprivileged moms

Community baby shower in Brownsville aims to help underprivileged moms

1:35
CDC: Measles could lose 'elimination status' amid uptick across the U.S.

CDC: Measles could lose 'elimination status' amid uptick across the U.S.

2:12
Family in mourning after loved one fatally struck by car in Concourse Village hit-and-run

Family in mourning after loved one fatally struck by car in Concourse Village hit-and-run