Pool where boy and his sister drowned was up to code

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A 4-year-old boy found in a backyard pool in Lancaster last Friday has died. His 3-year-old sister, who was found alongside him in the water, already succumbed to her injuries.

The boy and his sister were found in the water Friday night around 8:30 p.m. on Rose Street. The little girl passed away around an hour later.

Her brother was first taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Cheektowaga, the closest hospital to the home, before being transported to Women and Children’s Hospital. Lancaster Police say they learned early Wednesday morning that the boy passed away.

In Lancaster, when a resident builds a pool in their yard, a permit is required. When construction is finished, an inspector makes sure everything is up to code. An inspector tells News 4 the pool on Rose Street was up to code at the time of this incident.

Lancaster, like most municipalities, follow state codes that require:

  • Alarms that detect someone getting into the water
  • A four-foot fence completely surrounding the pool. Or if the pool is in an enclosed yard, the door to the outside has to have an alarm or safety feature
  • Above-ground pools must have steps that are removable or lockable to prevent kids from climbing them

The children lived at the home with their father and grandmother. Their identities were not released and police have called this incident a swimming accident.

But it’s still unclear whether the pool was missing any other required safety features and there is no word on whether charges will be filed. Police say the investigation is not finished.

Building Inspector Jeffrey Simme says the town takes the safety code seriously, but adds, “We can do the best we can to get all the inspections done, but then it’s up to the owners of the pool to make sure it’s safe.

The night before this incident, a 1-year-old girl drowned in a pool in Akron. In that case, police say no charges will be filed.

Safety officials are reminding adults it’s crucial to supervise children whenever they are near any body of water. Adults should never take their eyes off of young swimmers, not even for a moment.

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