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N.J. Mandates Dorm Sprinklers

July 06, 2000

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. — Gov. Christine Todd Whitman on Wednesday went to the site of a deadly college fire to sign legislation requiring automatic sprinklers in all dormitories.

Three Seton Hall University freshmen were killed and 58 students injured in a blaze at a dormitory Jan. 19. Experts said automatic sprinklers could have extinguished the fire quickly.

"By making sure that something like this can never happen again, we honor the memory of those who died and the suffering of those who were injured," Whitman said.

Every school must have sprinklers installed within four years. Schools can apply for no-interest or low-interest loans.

The law applies to private and public schools as well as fraternity and sorority houses.

Seton Hall plans to have sprinklers available by fall. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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