State officials acknowledge the investigation of the Anderson Guest House fire has given them few clues as to what went wrong or what the state might be able to do to prevent future deadly fires. Lt. Governor Peter Kinder interrupted a news conference announcing the findings of the Mental Health Task Force to address the deadly fire in Anderson. Sixteen of the 33 residents were State Department of Mental Health clients. Three of the ten who were killed in the fire received state services. Kinder pointed out state officials inspected the Anderson Guest House in March and though inspectors found a series of minor violations, they didn’t discover any fire safety violations. The Anderson Guest House is a residential care facility and doesn’t come under the state requirement to have sprinklers. The state only requires sprinklers in assisted living facilities. Kinder added that making homes such as the Anderson house come under such regulations would add to the shortage of housing for ambulatory residents. The Anderson Guest House served both the mentally ill and the elderly. Kinder says nothing he has learned from the Anderson investigation would lead him to suggest changes to the recommendations issued by the Mental Health Task Force.
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