Norman Sanborn, Fire Chief
37 Wakefield Street
Rochester, NH 03867
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
City of Rochester Orders Apartment Building Vacated After Multiple Violations
ROCHESTER, N.H. — Fire Chief Norman Sanborn and Fire Marshal Tim Wilder report that the City of Rochester and the Rochester Fire Department has ordered an apartment building shuttered and vacated after multiple fire and life safety code violations were found.
The five-unit apartment building located at 45 Hanson St. will not be deemed habitable until the landlord makes substantial repairs that put the dwelling in compliance with New Hampshire state law and Rochester city ordinances.
After receiving a complaint from a resident, fire inspectors arrived on Jan. 31 to conduct an inspection of the premises and were allowed inside by tenants.
The following violations were found:
- None of the eight bedrooms located in the building had a second means of escape, as required by fire code.
- None of the five apartments had working smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors, in violation of New Hampshire state law. (Smoke detector law, carbon monoxide law.)
- A major plumbing system failure was located, and raw sewage was discharging into multiple living spaces.
- The natural gas furnace was found to be improperly installed in a dangerous location without fire barriers, as required by fire code.
The above violations must be resolved and re-inspected by the Rochester Fire Department before tenants will be allowed back inside. The fire department issued a letter to the building owner and posted a Notice to Vacate the Premises.
“We do not arrive at these decisions lightly,” Chief Sanborn said. “One of the last things we want to do as a fire department is put people out of their homes. However, the absolute last thing we want is to encounter a tragedy due to fire or carbon monoxide that could have been prevented. That is why we conduct these inspections and take these actions.”
The Rochester Municipal Welfare Department, which provides emergency assistance for poor individuals and families, has been notified and is assisting residents. The city and fire department are working diligently with the property owner to bring the building back into compliance so that residents can return.