Government

More News | | | Editor

Collapsed column at fire station not reinforced, report says

Monday, July 9, 2012 10:25 PM
Last updated Tuesday, July 10, 2012 9:34 AM
  • Follow Government

Richmond County Fire Chief Chris James said he learned from an initial engineering report the column that collapsed at Station No. 9 on Walton Way Extension on June 25 was not reinforced.

Damage at fire station last week  Augusta Chronicle file
Augusta Chronicle file
Damage at fire station last week

“My assumption was it should have been reinforced,” he said.

Two weeks ago, a fire truck was leaving the station and part of the ladder took out a good part of the building. James is waiting on a final report from Cranston Engineering on the soundness of the building to decide whether to repair the damage or knock it down and start over.

“I would like to see as soon as possible a remedy the situation at Station 9 because we need that station,” he said. “There are live wires involved so we had to disconnect the power. We can’t leave firefighters in that station without power, because there would be no alarms, no air-conditioning.”

An apartment fire on Sunday at Millbrook Pointe apartments off Skinner Mill Road was in 9’s territory.

“They still had a good response time,” James said. “Would No. 9 have been slightly quicker? Yeah, but they still responded in good time. They were able to contain it in the two units it initially started in.”

Comments (11) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
triscuit
3210
Points
triscuit 07/09/12 - 09:54 pm
3
0
Okay so the column was not reinforced.

How did this building get a permit to be occupied? who's at fault...architect, engineer, contractor, inspector?

blues550
380
Points
blues550 07/09/12 - 11:36 pm
0
1
At Fault
Unpublished

The government. Yet another boondoggle.

allhans
24480
Points
allhans 07/10/12 - 12:24 am
2
0
Good questions triscuit. Now

Good questions triscuit. Now let's see if you get your answers.

boodroe
1962
Points
boodroe 07/10/12 - 05:00 am
2
1
The fire station has been there awhile

Have building codes changed since the fire station was first built if so it could have passed code and not be up to code now so that is how it got approval to open

KSL
139658
Points
KSL 07/10/12 - 06:19 am
1
1
Had the column been

Had the column been reinforced and the building hit the way it was by the ladder which this article says took out a sustantial part of the building, would the column have collapsed or not?

TrulyWorried
16063
Points
TrulyWorried 07/10/12 - 06:34 am
2
0
Station #9

Quite a few other buildings in Richmond County have had problems over the years as far as proper construction is concerned (401 Walton Way is a VERY good example). I don't know how old that fire station is but it would behoove the County to have thorough inspections of all structures that they are paying for with the taxpayers' money, for more reasons than one. Hate to see Station #9 in that shape, those folks, and all of our firemen do an outstanding job and deserve proper housing.

KSL
139658
Points
KSL 07/10/12 - 06:37 am
3
0
You get what you pay for.

You get what you pay for.

fftaz71
108
Points
fftaz71 07/10/12 - 08:01 am
2
1
Sometimes you get

Sometimes you get unscrupulous builders who say they build to one code and then years later you find out they didnt. The fire dept I volunteered with up north found this out...we had a basement under our truck bays. Our building was getting old and it was time to do some renovations. During our inspection process it was discovered that instead of building the station with the floor joists 16 inches on center to provide greater structural support, the builder put them 24 inches on center. We were very lucky our 2 engines parked in those bays didnt collapse the floor with their weight. On paper we were told the building was built to standards we designated.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 07/10/12 - 08:19 am
3
2
A consequence of the mandate
Unpublished

A consequence of the mandate that public contracts go to the lowest bidder.

triscuit
3210
Points
triscuit 07/10/12 - 08:45 am
1
0
palmetto1008, I think you hit

palmetto1008, I think you hit the nail on the head as far as design/construction. But still don't see how a qualified inspector missed it. Oh wait, "qualified" or a cousin/nephew/uncle, etc. of some other county official???

dichotomy
36131
Points
dichotomy 07/10/12 - 09:36 am
0
2
Not necessari

"A consequence of the mandate that public contracts go to the lowest bidder."

Not necessarily. Somewhere in the county's PROCUREMENT office and their process there is supposed to be a QUALIFIED ENGINEER review of all the PLANS and SPECIFICATIONS that should have caught this problem, if there really was a problem. And then, if there was really a problem, there should have been a QUALIFIED INSPECTOR that should have caught it before the county accepted the building and made final payment. Somehow we are being told that all of this was the BUILDING'S fault instead of the people on the county payroll who spec'd the building, contracted for the building, inspected and accepted the building and the ding bat that hit the building with the firetruck. Hey ya'll ignorant taxpayers....it was the building's fault. That durned building designed itself to be structurally deficient, surreptitiously signed off on it's own inspection, and then jumped out in front of the firetruck.

Low bid contracts CAN produce a quality product but you have to have people in the PROCUREMENT process that are smart enough to spec an RFP and that ensure that the bidders and the design engineers are QUALIFIED, and that QUALIFIED people do in-process and final inspections. And then there is the small issue of training the firetruck drivers not to drag the building with them when they take off.

Sweet son
11072
Points
Sweet son 07/10/12 - 12:49 pm
2
0
Come On Y'all!

Too much finger pointing and talk about the "non reinforced" column. The only thing to discuss is put a column back up or put steel across the top of the opening so that the column is not necessary. The "non reinforced" column satisfactorily held the building up until what happened??? A fire machine hit it and it failed!!! Bottom line is "do not hit the center column with the fire machine." The "non reinforced column" did it's prescribed job for a long time. Stop finger pointing at the building Chief and tell the public that the crew on the truck made an error. And don't get me wrong I appreciate each and every firefighter for their commitment to our community. Maybe a little training/retraining on exiting the firehouse for all of the Dept. , fix the house and let it go!!

Gage Creed
18813
Points
Gage Creed 07/10/12 - 08:55 pm
1
0
So I tells the Doc...Doc, it

So I tells the Doc...Doc, it only hurts when I laugh....the Doc sez don't watch Red Skelton....that'll be $85. Cause and effect....amazing concept.

Back to Top

Top headlines

City to consider emergency plan

The Richmond County Emer­gency Management Agency has drafted changes to emergency operating procedures. Overlooked, however, were several pages of emergency contact data riddled with ...
Search Augusta jobs