Building’s owner given 60 days to correct safety violation

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FARMINGTON – Tonight selectmen agreed to give a building’s owner 30 days to submit a work plan and 60 days to complete the work to fix several safety code violations the state’s Fire Marshal’s Office found on an inspection Oct. 9.

Selectmen voted unanimously to enter into a consent agreement with Joel Batzell, the owner of the building at 103 Bridge Street in West Farmington, that includes the town’s agreement with the state’s Fire Marshal’s Office report that there are safety issues that need to be addressed, that Batzell work with the Fire Marshal’s Office in fixing the repairs with the town prepared to do what it can to help in the process and that Batzell adhere to the 60-day timeline for correcting the violations.

“There are life safety issues here whether it’s a family or tenants living there,” said Steve Kaiser, the town code enforcement officer. “There are serious issues with that structure.”  

The two-story wood frame building located west of Center Bridge was inspected after a complaint was received by the state that a woman visiting a resident fell down a ladder that accesses a part of the building.

Fire Marshal Ed Bennett reported 11 safety violations that include an insufficient chimney for the oil furnace, exposed electrical wiring and the over-use of extension cords throughout the structure, unsafe stairs, narrow hallways, lack of the correct construction material barrier between the living and storage areas that can delay a fire from spreading and escape egresses, according to the report.

Batzell is required by the state to respond with a plan of action to make all of the repairs and to provide certification by a licensed electrician and a structural engineer that the wiring and building meet the state’s fire code standards.

Batzell said he intends to correct the violations but has not yet submitted the form to the Fire Marshal’s Office that specifies how and when the corrections will be made. He said at the hearing he needs clarification on exactly what is required and has hired Simon Blodgett, carpenter, to correct the violations. 


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