Height of new hospital raises questions about fire protection

Jefferson City firefighters battled an Elm Street apartment building fire in 2008, as seen in this News Tribune file photo. The tallest building allowed by city building codes is 140 feet, but most buildings are required to be shorter.

Jefferson City firefighters battled an Elm Street apartment building fire in 2008, as seen in this News Tribune file photo. The tallest building allowed by city building codes is 140 feet, but most buildings are required to be shorter. Photo by News Tribune.

When a fire breaks out, people often see firefighters climbing up ladders to put out the flames. But what happens when a building is too tall for the ladder?

Jefferson City Fire Chief Bob Rennick said the department has several ladders, none more than 100 feet long. So when buildings, such as the new St. Mary’s Health Center on Missouri 179, exceed that height, the fire department relies on alternative methods.

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Turner said for those buildings, both the fire and building codes require ....

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