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Trade Winds passes city inspection

By Stephen Betts | Nov 07, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts The fire department responded to multiple fires at the motel in May.

Rockland — The Trade Winds Inn passed its fire safety inspection Tuesday and is expected to receive a one-year renewal of its lodging license when the Rockland City Council meets next week.

The hotel corrected all the violations that were on the fire department and code enforcement offices lists, Fire Chief Christopher Whytock said Wednesday, Nov. 6.

He said the departments agreed to a three-week delay in the replacement of a damaged fire door. The delay was agreed to because new boilers are being installed and they would be too large to fit through the new doors.

The City Council voted Oct. 16 to deny a license renewal after the fire chief reported a long list of violations. The administration granted the inn a 30-day extension with the condition that it correct the violations during that period.

"My hope is that the Libertys take the opportunity that the council gave them and not fall back into any large code violation for next year’s inspection," the chief said Nov. 6.

Whytock addressed the Council at its Oct. 16 meeting, pointing out that the city fire department and Maine Fire Marshal's Office conducted follow up inspections after a couple fires occurred May 9 at the 99-room motel.

He said there was a follow up inspection in September and early October and while some of the problems were corrected, the list of deficiencies remained lengthy.

Those problems included a lack of sprinkler heads in areas of the motel that have been renovated over the years. There were also open areas in ceilings which could have led to fires spreading faster.

Other issues such as use of extension cords, doors that don't latch, and clutter were ones that could be corrected quickly, he said last month.

After the motel passed the inspection, the chief said "I would add that almost all buildings we inspect have some sort of violation that needs to be corrected. This is why inspections take place. A building like the Trade Winds is large and starting to age. A lot of work must be done to maintain the property and I hope they continue down the right path," the chief said .

He said inspections can be very time consuming.

"It isn’t uncommon for the fire department and code office to spend three to four hours inspecting the Trade Winds. We then have to go back, review the code books, and compile a list of violations.  We also will site the specific violation and relevant code so the building owners can see that our findings are valid. Depending on the work needed, this can take hours to complete as well," he said.

The Council meets Nov. 13 to vote on the renewal.

This wa not the first time that the Trade Winds lodging license was in question.

In October 2016, the City Council held off renewal following a report of code violations. That occurred shortly after the motel's deficiencies were widely publicized in an episode of the reality TV show “Hotel Impossible

At that meeting, Councilor Geiger said the motel had a complete disregard for safety and Rockland codes and embarrassed Rockland nationally.

In the show titled “The Pain in Maine,” the Travel Channel show reported finding numerous violations of safety codes. Those included household extension cords being used in ceilings of rooms and charred wiring near insulation. There also were problems found with the room where the fire alarm control panels were located. The show also pointed out that that the kitchen had been closed by a state health inspector shortly before the television crew arrived.

The motel was built in the mid-1960s and has undergone several expansions over the decades.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Valerie Wass | Nov 07, 2019 14:09


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