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Shelter gets OK after inspection

July 28, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, PA. - Waynesboro Fire Marshal Jerry Hartman said a fire-code inspection Monday showed the New Hope Shelter has corrected most of the violations found when he checked the building July 13.

"It was 200 percent better Monday," he said Tuesday of the 25 S. Potomac St. homeless shelter.

Many of the problems Hartman found July 13 concerned poor housekeeping.

Hartman said he saw dirty residential rooms, clothes piled up on floors, trash piles, overflowing garbage containers and unclean bathrooms.

There were 49 residents in the shelter at the time, including 21 children. It has a legal capacity of 52 residents, Hartman said.

On Tuesday, Peg Spangler, a member of the shelter's board of directors, said the shelter housed 41 residents, including 15 children.

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Hartman said he found conditions much better Monday.

"There's no reason why it should have looked like it did July 13 when it can look as good as it does now," he said.

Hartman said he found only a few minor fire-code violations Monday. Among them were unsatisfactory hangers for fire extinguishers, an improper electrical receptacle in one residential room and the fourth floor still had not been cleaned.

Hartman said on July 13 that he discovered that pigeons had entered through broken windows in the top floor of the four-story brick building. Bird droppings were found on mattresses and furniture stored there, he said.

He said Tuesday that he isn't too concerned about pigeon droppings on furniture and mattresses, as long as shelter officials don't plan to sell or use them.

"That would be a health issue," he said.

Hartman, following the earlier inspection, threatened to contact the health department if the shelter was not cleaned up.

Hartman said when he pulled the fire alarm system during his July 13 surprise inspection it worked, but none of the 16 residents in the building at the time left when it sounded.

"I pulled it yesterday and everybody left," he said.

Another problem that has been corrected was the lack of anyone in charge of the shelter overnight. Residents were left on their own, Hartman said.

Spangler, a volunteer, said Tuesday that someone has been assigned to stay in the office overnight.

Hartman said he would make an unannounced inspection one night to ensure that someone is on duty.

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