Connecticut Blaze is Latest to Highlight Vulnerable Construction Methods

Last Wednesday night (May 17), days after a wood-framed retail-apartment complex under construction in Oakland, CA, was destroyed for the second time in a year, five firefighters were injured in a fire that destroyed four three-story multi-family homes in Waterbury, CT, again highlighting the danger of wood-framed residential buildings. The fire, which displaced 20 families, 32 people in all, comes at a time of intense scrutiny for the construction materials industry and the building codes that permit the use of vulnerable methods.
This year, there have been a number of memorable lightweight, wood-framed apartment fires, most notably in Oakland, CA; St. Petersburg, FL; Arlington, VA; College Park, MD; Overland Park, KS; Raleigh, NC; and Maplewood, NJ. There have been dozens over the last few years. Cities and towns including New York, Chicago, Maitland, FL; and Sandy Springs and Tucker, GA, have taken proactive steps to preemptively ban the use of combustible materials, such as wood, in this type of construction. Through the Build with Strength initiative, NRMCA has resources to help members and state affiliates advocate for resilient and safer construction, including model legislation, talking points, public relations and other key strategies.
To learn more about how NRMCA can assist in state advocacy, please contact Vice President, State and Local Government Affairs, John Loyer at 703-675-7603 or

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association