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    News / On-Demand Video Access

    See & Hear LB Fire Dept. Presentation (Includes Videos), Public Testimony, Council Discussion & Decision On Sprinkler Retrofit Of Large LB High Rises


    (June 20, 2007) -- In the public interest, and to fully convey the graphic video presentation by the LB Fire Dept. as well as public testimony and Council discussion, LBReport.com provides below indexed, on-demand video access to the June 19, 2007 Council item regarding the retrofitting of existing, older large LB high rises with anti-fire sprinkler systems.

    The video is unedited, exactly as it appears on the City of Long Beach/City Clerk web site.

    The City Council agenda item followed roughly six months of hearings by the Council's Public Safety Committee in the wake of two fatal LB residential fires at NLB's Paradise Gardens and Ocean Blvd Galaxy Towers.

    The Council item opens with a plainspoken introduction by LB Fire Chief Dave Ellis, followed by equally blunt testimony from Deputy Fire Chief/Fire Marshal Hank Teran.

    Fire Marshal Teran's presentation (second segment) includes demonstration video (from the OC Fire Authority) of the heat produced in a residential fire -- over 1,000 degrees at ceiling level -- in 90 seconds...and showed sprinklers dousing the flames long before it reached that point.

    Screen save: LBFD presentation during City Council webcast
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    Screen save from LBFD video during City Council webcast
    Fire Marshal Teran also presented video of the March 2007 Galaxy Towers fire, showing flames flaring and virtually consuming the residential unit, forcing John Crews onto a balcony from which he ultimately jumped to his death.

    During public testimony, Mr. Crews' wife addressed the Council. Her testimony, and the words of all others (members of the public, Councilmembers and the Mayor) are unedited and presented as they took place.

    The Fire Dept. had recommended requiring the retrofitting of existing older LB high rises, in some cases allowing up to ten years. The City Council's Public Safety Committee forwarded the sprinkler retrofit requirements with a recommended process that could permit exemptions on a case by case basis. Saying it was his duty as chair to forward the Committee's recommendation, Councilman Val Lerch did so and made the motion for it...adding that it was up to the Council to hammer something out.

    Third district Councilman Gary DeLong made a substitute motion which accepted the non-sprinkler recommendations but referred the issue of mandatory sprinkler retrofits to the Council's Economic Development & Finance Committee for further proceedings. Councilman DeLong indicated that he'd received letters from opponents of the retrofit requirement. Some residents of historic buildings and other existing older high rises also opposed the retrofit requirement, citing financial hardships and other factors.

    The Council approved Councilman DeLong's substitute motion on an 8-1 vote (Schipske dissenting).

    To view the complete item with on-demand video access, click here.


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