Cuts Blamed for Fewer Fort Wayne Fire Inspections

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) – City officials in Fort Wayne are blaming staff cuts for the fire department not meeting its goal of inspecting high-risk buildings at least once a year.

A city audit found that 60 percent of those buildings it checked weren’t inspected during 2011. Fire department officials tell The Journal Gazette that the department has half of its previous six inspectors.

They say that means that can’t cover all those high-risk buildings, which include schools, apartment buildings, hotels, hospitals and nursing homes.

Fire Chief Amy Biggs says that more budget cuts might lead the department to eliminate inspections, forcing businesses to hire and pay for inspections themselves.

The department is changing its inspection schedule so that all high-risk buildings are checked yearly, while other buildings would get inspected less often.