Patterson, Fort Lee fire officials step up building inspections, fire-safety awareness

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Thursday, January 13, 2022
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Paterson, New Jersey is stepping up building inspections following a fire at a Bronx apartment building that led to the deaths of 17 people. Anthony Johnson has more on the efforts

PATERSON, N.J. (WABC) -- Fire officials in Fort Lee, New Jersey are speaking to residents in high rise buildings about safety steps in the event of a fire. This is a proactive response following a fire at a Bronx apartment building that led to the deaths of 17 people.

Paterson, New Jersey is also stepping up building inspections in an effort to ensure residents are safe.

City leaders say the tragedy serves as a reminder to stress the issue of fire safety.

That's why the city of Paterson is stepping up its inspections of high-rise, mid-rise, and multi-level housing.

"We're going to focus on different areas, such as the self-closing doors, education as it relates to space heaters," Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott said.

Inspectors will be out checking automatic closing doors, barrier doors, and the central alarm systems to make sure everything is up to date and in good working order.

"These doors, automatically close when the fire alarm goes off. They're connected with magnetic locks and these close automatically to keep the smoke out of that elevator lobby," Paterson Fire Captain Herb Eggers III said while demonstration properly function fire doors.

In light of the fact that smoke killed all the victims in the Bronx, fire inspectors want to reduce the possibility of a tragedy here.

They stress the need to close doors to stop the spread of smoke and fire.

"We want to reassure our residents that fire safety is paramount in Paterson," Mayor Andre Sayegh said.

Residents say the inspection of the buildings has been constant in Paterson, but residents are thankful after seeing the pain and grief from the disaster in the Bronx.

"We have the fire doors, our gates are locked at 8 o'clock. We really do well here," Paterson resident Ramona Wilkerson said.

Paterson fire officials emphasize that the safety measures are in place to contain smoke and fire and keep firefighters and residents safe.

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