Salt Lake City Fire Marshal grants extension of ‘Fire Watch’ at apartment building

Some 42 occupied units at the Georgia Apartments are being evacuated Monday after the Salt Lake City Fire Marshal issued a "Red Tag" order of the property. Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 14, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake City Fire Marshal has extended the 24-hour safety “Fire Watch” at the Georgia Apartments, officials said, and residents now have until Saturday at noon to completely evacuate.

Some 31 occupied units at the Georgia Apartments were evacuated Monday after the Fire Marshal issued a “Red Tag” order on the property.

The apartments, at 203 E. 2100 South, were deemed unsafe to occupy, said a news release from Salt Lake City Fire Department.

“This order is a result of repeated and unheeded requests by the SLCFD to the property owner to bring the building up to fire code,” the news release said.

Wednesday, the Salt Lake City Division of Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) reported it successfully engaged 30 of the occupied units at the Georgia Apartments with a housing plan to facilitate an evacuation order of the property. Of those, 24 units have immediate housing secured, six units are in various stages of housing assistance, with only one unit is not yet engaged.

Fire Watch service consists of 24-hour safety inspections of the building while it is being evacuated.

Based on this information, the following the new evacuation deadline, Salt Lake City will provide means to access the building with an escort, as necessary, if personal items were left behind.

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Following the “Red Tag” order, HAND set up a Housing Outreach Center to assist with residents with housing needs. Service at the center are being provided by employees of the Salt Lake City and County Housing Authorities, Utah Community Action, Salt Lake City Police Department’s Community Connection Center, Department of Workforce Services, the Road Home, Utah Nonprofit Housing Coalition, and the Other Side Academy, which is providing free moving services to residents.

“It is incredible how quickly our teams worked to find new housing solutions for the residents of Georgia Apartments, who are having their lives uprooted because of the actions of their landlord,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “This was a difficult decision to make, but our fire professionals will always prioritize the safety of all Salt Lake City residents above all else.”

The Fire Marshal has also prepared a Cease and Desist order to be issued to the owner of the Georgia Apartments. The order prohibits the owner from indicating to residents that they do not need to evacuate, which would directly interfere with the lawful order of evacuation issued by the Salt Lake City Fire Department.

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