Residents claim they were told not to evacuate during fire alarm

BOAZ, AL (WAFF) - 50-year-old Benny Boland has been indicted for pulling a fire alarm when there was no fire. It happened at Manor House in Boaz back in August. During that alarm, some residents didn't evacuate the building.

Both management and residents said they were told by the fire department to stay in their rooms until told otherwise.

People like Mary Lou Claburn wonder what would happen if there really was a fire. She said they used to evacuate anytime the alarm went off. "Everybody would come out of their apartment and come down to the first floor," she said.

However, several years ago the evacuations stopped.

"The fire department came over here and said that they did not want us to go down out of our apartments," Claburn said.

"The residents are supposed to really wait in their apartment to see what they are supposed to do," added Larry Davis, Manor House coordinator.

Assistant state fire marshal Jeff Thompson, though, said residents should begin evacuating when an alarm goes off until it is determined by apartment officials or first responders that it's a false alarm. He also said it's the responsibility of the owners to follow the proper fire codes.

Davis said the alarm typically goes off two to three times a month due to smoke in resident's homes.

Attempts to reach the Boaz Fire Chief for comment were unsuccessful.

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