NEWS

Fire safety concerns at Rotterdam Super 8

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ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Volunteer firefighters in Rotterdam sounded alarms around fire safety concerns. They said the Super 8, where DocGo has a contract to house asylum seekers from New York City, has numerous code violations. 

Carman Fire Department Chief John Nuzback raised concerns at a Rotterdam town board meeting, on March 27, around – what he called –  “life safety concerns” at the Super 8. He said now is the time to act before those concerns turn catastrophic. 

“You look at any other major incident that’s happened, they always go back and say look at these warning signs,” said Nuzback. “This is your warning sign and nothing is being done.”

He described issues with accessibility to rooms, storage for e-bikes with lithium batteries, odors and overall quality of life. He said the safety concerns would impact the residents and his fellow volunteer firefighters.

“The town board is failing emergency responders. Our firefighters are members of this town, they are residents of this town, they volunteer their time to be first responders and respond to emergencies. And the town board is doing nothing to help protect us,” said Nuzback.

On Monday night, Town Supervisor Mollie Collins met with Nuzback and others.

“I thought it was a very productive meeting. He expressed his concerns and what he thought should happen, and I assured him that some of the concerns that he had we would address,” said Collins.

At that meeting, Nuzback said the first priority is getting an accurate headcount. 

“In case, god forbid, there were to be something that happened there, we would know that we’d have everybody evacuated from the building,” said Collins.

She said in addition to getting an accurate headcount, they’ll continue citing the hotel for violations.

“We just make sure that if there are code violations that we inform them and give them a reasonable time for correction, same way as we would any other residential or commercial property in Rotterdam,” said Collins.

Rotterdam Police have assisted with code enforcement at the Super 8 twice since the asylum seekers moved in. The last visit was on March 20.

Collins said after the first visit, violations were corrected. She’s hopeful that will continue, if additional violations are issued.

“They have been in the past, so we are hoping they will continue,” said Collins.

The Carman Fire Department released a statement that read in part, “Our goal is, and will continue to be, to ensure this facility is safe for the residents staying there, and for the responders who are responding there.”

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