Carbon monoxide detectors are now required in rental homes in the state of Washington. It appears that this particular fire was discovered when one of the renters was awakened by a smoke alarm. Mere smoke alarms will not detect carbon monoxide which kills silently while a renter sleeps. Carbon monoxide detectors must also be located low enough to perform correctly as the gas tends to sink towards the floor. Ceiling mounted detectors are not very useful. You can read more about the requirement for carbon monoxide detectors in my 30 Jan 2013 blog entry entitled Carbon Monoxide Alarms Now Required in Rentals. Click here to read that entry.
So as the discussion continues on rental health and safety, the City Council should add chimneys to the list of items for the eventual ordinance on rental inspections.