ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Dozens of firefighters from across Minnesota arrived at the State Capitol on Wednesday to talk about the importance of fire sprinklers.

According to fire crews, a deadly fire last weekend could have been prevented if the home had fire sprinklers.

Fifty-year-old Nicole Ritzer died Saturday in her Lakeland home. Her body was found near her front door.

“Too often, firefighters are the ones that grieve with the family members and the neighbors after one of these tragedies has happened,” St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler said. “We have yet to see a realtor or a builder come and offer their sympathies and express how safe their house was.”

The vote expected at the State Capitol would cover whether sprinklers should be mandated in newly constructed homes of greater than 4,500 square feet.

Homebuilders oppose the mandate. They say it could add up to $11,000 to the cost of a home.


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