State fire codes did not apply in deadly Vermont barn fire

BARNET, Vt. (WCAX) No word yet on the cause of a fire that killed a young Massachusetts woman in Barnet Thursday.

Kelsey Locke, 21, died when a barn on the Perkins farm caught fire early in the morning. The owner tells us Locke was a former employee who had been staying in the barn for a couple of days while searching for a new job in the area. We're told the building had sleeping quarters but was not technically an apartment and was not being rented to Locke. State fire officials say that means state fire codes did not apply.

"We don't have any regulation over the small family farms. We have some regulation over farms that provide housing for their employees. I think in yesterday's case it was just a mere friend helping a friend. Unfortunate circumstance, to be honest," Assistant Vermont Fire Marshal Robert Sponable said. "But I will say to anybody out there, if you lay your head down at night, look around and make sure you have a smoke alarm and a CO alarm near you. It could very well save your life, no matter where you are."

Sponable notes that single-family homes in Vermont are also not required to meet state fire codes until they are sold. He says the fire safety division can only recommend actions to help prevent and detect fires.