Fire-code inspections under fire in Minneapolis

  • Article by: RANDY FURST and JAMES ELI SHIFFER , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: April 21, 2011 - 2:45 PM

Inspectors who check for fire-code violations in Minneapolis report to two different agencies -- the Fire Department and Regulatory Services -- and some say training is inadequate.

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mariezzApr. 15, 1010:46 PM

Whatever office was in charge of fire inspections previous to 2004 had failed to inspect the building for 10 years, so it wasn't doing its job, either. Rental owners should pay the cost of the inspections, with violations doubling or tripling the cost of more frequent inspections for a number of years after a violation occurs.

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jstwondrngApr. 15, 1011:32 PM

No that's just another burning, uninspected building in Minneapolis. Now that's executive leadership!

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suspectbillApr. 16, 1012:02 AM

If Building Operators and Owners would follow through on Fire Protection Inspections and recommendations from Licensed Fire Inspections instead of trying to save a buck or waiting later, which never happens, then you'd see less of this. There are plenty of Licensed Sprinkler Fitters who perform these inspections and blame should fall on building owners for not scheduling and following through on their fire protection recommendations.

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joycen62Apr. 16, 1012:05 AM

If politicians will not let you do your job, call the Star/Tribune. This crime should never have happened.

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mplsinspectApr. 16, 1012:19 AM

And to heck with the services. It is all about the City lining their pockets with fee that offer little in return.

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Brian_LarsonApr. 16, 1012:59 AM

LOL Minneapolis already charges rental owners for all of these things and more. There is a large four figure tax to "convert" a property to rental. Yearly $$$ tax for a rental license. Then if a violation is found like a battery missing from a smoke detector, and it is not corrected the owner is charged $100 for re-inspection plus fines that double each time it's not corrected. as in $200 $400 $800 $1600 etc plus 10% extra if each fine is not paid quickly. Of course if Minneapolis really cared about tenants they would simply have the inspector replace the $2 battery or $10 detector and charge the owner a reasonable fee. It would be smarter to require the occupants to maintain the smoke detectors because after all they are the ones living there and usually the ones who disable them when they burn something on the stove.

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nichole1957Apr. 16, 10 2:04 AM

All the city cares about is the revenue stream. If the city really cared about safety then even the owner occupied homes would be inspected also.

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bikemilesApr. 16, 10 2:45 AM

Any documented concerns before the fire? Keep in mind that the building owner wasn't aware of the five "crashing" with the bartender.

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karendavid816Apr. 16, 10 6:04 AM

The elected officials are sounding like they had no idea there was a problem with the inspections. Does the City Council ever ask questions about such things in their committee meetings? Does the City Coordinator or Fire Chief ever volunteer information such as this? Sounds like business as usual down at the Hall. Don't ask, don't tell.

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stribread250Apr. 16, 10 7:01 AM

If only there were some way to learn about obvious fire code violations in residential apartments besides having city inspectors observe them. Some sort of volunteer, freelance corps of armchair fire inspectors who spend a lot of time in the buildings that require inspection, and so would be familiar with it. Don't need to give them enforcement power, just a an easy-to-remember three-digit number to call when they suspect a violation, which will inform the city that a more thorough inspection should be made. If only...

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