Children playing with matches two weeks ago sparked a fire inside a rental home that killed a 2-year-old boy, a tragedy punctuated by the revelation there were no smoke detectors inside the South Tyler Lane home.
While state regulations require landlords to provide smoke detectors, there’s no enforcement process for homes outside Bloomington city limits.
Records indicate that local landlord Jeffrey S. Jones owned the house and also at least 50 other rentals in Monroe County. About 80 percent are within city limits and under the inspection purview of Bloomington’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Department.
During August and September 2018 alone, city inspectors documented more than 1,800 violations — including more than 100 for missing or broken smoke detectors — at three of Jones’ Bloomington apartment complexes. His property management company goes by the name Pendragon Properties.
The city issued more than 700 violations in the September inspection report for a 38-unit apartment complex on the city’s south side. More than half of the apartments were missing smoke detectors or had broken alarms in need of repair.
Smoke detectors required
Landlords are required to provide the appropriate number of working smoke detectors in rentals, just as they are required by code to keep up with maintenance of rental properties to prevent public health and safety issues.