The City of Indianapolis said Wednesday it cannot find past inspection reports for businesses that burned in a Westside fire last weekend.
“The reporting system and subsequent record keeping system has changed over the last few years and in the transfer process allowed for a more difficult retrieval,” Indianapolis Fire Department Capt. Rita Burris said in a written statement . .
The city did release a copy of written correspondence between Deputy Fire Marshal Timothy Smith and Keith Sharp, of Sharp Companies, owner of the property, in February 2007.
In the correspondence, Smith told Sharp that “the following items need to be addressed.”
Smith listed the sprinkler system, the exits, the alarm system, the water supply and the fire department access.
Smith advised Sharp to contact a fire code consultant.IFD initially told the Star it could not release any of the inspection reports because they had been turned over to arson investigators before Public Safety Director Troy Riggs ordered their release. Burris told the Star the 2007 inspection report was all the department turned over to arson investigators.
Separately, Fox59 News reports that IDEM cited Nationwide Recyclers in 2012 for several violations. The property was re-inspected by IDEM just this month but the results were not available yet.
You may recall my earlier reports complaining about a new self-inspection program implemented this year by IFD after passage of a new ordinance last year authorizing the program despite the lack of any state law authorizing self-inspections for purposes of enforcing the state's fire and building safety laws. IFD complained that it lacked funding to hire investigators to perform regular inspections so it asked thousands of business owners to complete their own inspections annually, and then file their reports with the city along with a filing fee. Businesses who fail to self-inspect have been threatened with higher inspection fees if the department is required to perform an on-site inspection.