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One resident was killed and several residents were injured when fire swept through a North Carolina assisted living facility. Initial reports about the incident described the fire as an explosion.

Besides the fatality, several residents were taken to hospitals for burns and smoke inhalation.

Assisted living facilities are similar to nursing homes but are not designed to provide the same level of care. Unfortunately, they are also not subject to the same level of safety regulation as nursing homes. The absence of adequate fire-suppression systems such as a sprinkler at this facility no doubt contributed to the number and severity of injuries.

One of the noteworthy features of this story is that the incident was initially reported as an explosion. This is something that would be characteristic of a fire involving a compressed gas, which is an indiactor that the facility was admitting patients who needed a higher level of care than could be safely provided at the facility.

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