FOLLOWING THE DEADLY FIRE IN THE FORMER Deutsche Bank building and the revelation that building inspections hadn’t been done by the Fire Department, Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta immediately sought out convenient scapegoats.
Even though everybody in the field had been told that the FD was to stay out of the building, he relieved three officers of their commands, Eng. 10 Captain Peter Bosco, his Battalion Chief and their District Chief, and transferred them to HQ. Scoppetta claimed that these three lower-level officers were responsible for the department’s lack of a fire plan for the tower and its failure to inspect the building.
Earlier this month on Oct. 10 Firegeezer published HERE a memo from the officer of Ladder 10 requesting the department establish a pre-plan. This memo was written 32 months before the fire and the pre-plan was magically produced just hours after the fire.
Now documents have been uncovered that show a disturbing gap in the regulatory framework in place at ground zero governing the construction and deconstruction of WTC contaminated buildings. FDNY has no jurisdiction to enforce the building codes and fire codes at ground zero. By its own rules, FDNY is barred from issuing summons and violations against any of the ground zero buildings including the Deutsche Bank building which sits on what is called the South Site. The buildings at ground zero are either owned by Port Authority of NY & NJ or by New York State. Such buildings are exempt from FDNY jurisdiction.
These documents are reproduced below. Click on the icon to read the documents described. (click a second time to enlarge them.)
1. Excerpt from FDNY Fire Prevention Manual, Chap. 4 that states that: a) the FD has no official jurisdiction in state-owned facilities; b) any inspections requested are “courtesy inspections” to give recommendations only; c) uniformed personnel shall NOT issue Notices of Violations or summonses.
2. Page 1 of the minutes of a Dept. of Bldgs. joint agency meeting following the May accident when the pipe fell off the D-B bldg. and went through the roof of firehouse 10. It shows that there were 12 FDNY officials in attendance and also states that the demolition project is under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Buildings.
3. A June, ’06 memo summarizing and inspection by the Dept. of Environmental Protection wherein Don Adler of the John Galt Corp. stated that the building isn’t subject to any regulations, so it could not possibly fail any standards.
4. A press release from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC) which affirms that the D-B building is owned by a state agency.
5. Pages 1 and 2 of a July, ’04 LMDC 14-page Request For Proposals wherein it states that the LMDC is a subsidiary of the New York State Urban Development Corp., a political subdivision of the State of New York.
It is evident that nobody in the department can be held accountable for not inspecting the D-B building because the department itself has no authority to require it. Firegeezer believes that these three field officers, whose integrity has never been questioned, are being used as a shield to hide the culpability of somebody in the FD administration.
So, come Monday morning we can expect to see them restored to their original assignments, right? Sure.
To read the past postings on Firegeezer about the D-B building fire, type in “deutsche” in the search engine box on the right sidebar.