On July 26, 1980, a later-evening fire in a licensed hotel in the resort town of Bradley Beach, New Jersey, was responsible for the deaths of 24 of the 38 residents of the facility. Most of the residents were elderly and mentally impaired, and many of them had be referred to the hotel by state mental health care institutions of by the county welfare department.
The fire, most probably of electrical origin started in a concealed space above the ceiling of a basement recreation room and spread to upper floors by means of an open door from the basement and a three-story stairway.
Factors that contributed to the fatalities were;
• a delayed alarm caused by fire ignition in a concealed space,
• the lack of an early-warning fire detection system,
• lack of a second means of egress from upper floors,
• presence of louvers on guest rooms doors, and
• a basement door that was left open.
For more information on this NFPA Fire Investigations. To learn more about electrical fires NFPA Fire Analysis and Research statistical report on Electrical Fires.