I-Team: Providence school inspections under way
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says he'sfollowing through on a promise to improve the city's record on fireinspections.
Thousands of Providence children have beengoing to schools that went years without any record of fire inspections.
The I-Team uncovered thissafety lapse in November 2012. At the time, city leaders promised to inspectevery school, every year going forward.
"This is something that isunacceptable," Taveras told NBC 10 during a taping of "10 NewsConference" on Friday. "We're addressing that by inspecting each andevery school. We've already done about 20 as I sit here (Friday) and talkwith you. We'll have all of them done before the end of this year."
Taveras also noted that all public schoolshave working fire alarms and conduct regular fire drills. But he saidfixing the inspection system is a priority.
To find out how big the problem really was,the I-Team spent months digging through inspection reports, discovering thatinspections for most schools were at least five years old. Some schoolswere seven, nine or even 10 years out of date.
In the course of the investigation, theI-Team found a letter from state fire marshal JackChartier to the city of Providence, datedNov. 30, 2011. In the letter, Chartier tellsthe city that "complete inspections of nightclubs shall be conducted atleast annually."
As a result, the I-Team searched records for60 bars and nightclubs across the city, learning there were no currentinspections to be found. Like schools, most inspections for clubs and barswere at least five years out of date.
Taveras said that's about to change.
"With respect to thenightclubs, we're doing them as well. They are a priority for us. Publicsafety is important," he said. "This is something that shouldnot have happened, and we're doing everything we can to address it."