The final fire risk assessment of 750 Downtown buildings will be published in about two weeks.
The Wesley Hardin building fire put a big spotlight on Downtown that led to thorough inspections to avoid “deterioration, open shafts, debris and destruction,” said El Paso Fire Marshal Calvin Shanks
Shanks said they discovered three major problems:
Flammable storage in many of these buildings
Outdated electrical systems
“We're finalizing the report now but we're looking at 10 percent of the structures had significant concerns that we had to deal with,” Shanks said.
Shanks said he understands the old, and some historic, buildings need extra care.
“Some of the things with the buildings that are a little bit older and there's deterioration, those are maintenance issues and yes, they're going to have to take care of them but it's going to have to take time to -- remember, some of these buildings are more than 100 years old and the department is willing to work with the owners. As long as they're making progress and gaining compliance, we'll work with them unless it's an immediate life or fire safety hazard,” Shanks said.
He said building owners should be asking themselves one question: If a fire happens tonight, what am I doing to help cause it or what am I doing to help it spread?
If building owners don't comply they could face fines, court or their building could even be evacuated or shut down.