Fire safety checks lagged at Paris shelter where 5 died

DALLAS (AP) - Investigators seeking the cause of a deadly fire at a homeless shelter in Paris have been unable to find evidence of safety inspections in recent years.

Monday's blaze killed five men.

Paris Fire Department Chief Ronnie Grooms told The Associated Press that records indicate the building was last inspected in 2004.

Homeless shelters in Texas aren't licensed by the state, so regular fire inspections are not required.

Grooms says his small department, with two inspectors, focuses mostly on state-licensed facilities where inspections are mandated.

Grooms says the shelter had no sprinkler system, fire alarms or smoke detectors.

The facility is owned and operated by a nonprofit group, Seed Sowers Christians in Action.

Founder Don Walker declined comment on issues of building codes or inspections.

Walker says he just "tried to take care of people."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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