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Fire safety concerns at Rotterdam Super 8

ROTTERDAM, NY (NEWS10) – Volunteer firefighters in Rotterdam have sounded the alarm over fire safety concerns. They said there are numerous code violations at Super 8, where DocGo has a contract to house asylum seekers from New York City.

Carman Fire Department Chief John Nuzback raised concerns about what he called “life safety concerns” at the Super 8 at a Rotterdam City Council meeting on March 27. He said now is the time to act. before these concerns become catastrophic.

“If you look at every other major incident that has happened, they keep coming back and saying, look at these warning signs,” Nuzback said. “This is your warning sign and nothing will be done.”

He described issues with accessibility to spaces, accommodation of e-bikes with lithium batteries, odors and general quality of life. He said the safety concerns will impact residents and his fellow volunteer firefighters.

“The city administration is letting the emergency responders down. Our firefighters are members of this city, they are residents of this city, they volunteer as first responders and respond to emergencies. And the city government is doing nothing to protect us,” Nuzback said.

On Monday evening, City Manager 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 we would address some of his concerns,” Collins said.

At that meeting, Nuzback said getting an accurate headcount was a top priority.

“In the event that, God forbid, something were to happen there, we would know that we would evacuate everyone from the building,” Collins said.

She said they will not only get an accurate headcount, but will continue to report the hotel for violations.

“We just make sure that if there are any code violations, we notify them and give them a reasonable period of time to correct, just as we would with any other residential or commercial property in Rotterdam,” Collins said.

Rotterdam police have helped enforce regulations at Super 8 twice since the asylum seekers moved in. The last visit took place on March 20th.

Collins said violations were corrected after the initial visit. She is confident that this will continue if further violations are discovered.

“They were in the past, so we hope they continue like that,” Collins said.

The Carman Fire Department released a statement that said, in part, “Our goal is and remains to ensure that this facility is safe for the residents who reside there and the emergency responders who respond there.”

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