Portable fire extinguishers at the Aurella Cary Apartments on the 100 block of Harlon Drive had not been inspected since December 2019, officials said.
A fire inspection was conducted in 2020, and the fire extinguishers should have been examined as part of that annual inspection.
Cary officials said the town gave property managers a verbal reminder about the requirements.
The deadly fire broke out in a three-story building at the complex, formerly known as Misty Woods Apartments, on Monday afternoon.
A 9-month-old died from injuries sustained in the fire, and three others were hospitalized.
Damage to nearly 30 affected units was extensive, authorities said.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.
Many residents told ABC11 about safety issues within the building, including a fire last month and other electrical problems.
"The top apartment floor was barreling smoke up," said Jen Peltier, who lives in a nearby building. "It had to have started pretty fast because there was no warning for my side, at least."