Report: Sinking San Francisco tower could pose 'life and fire safety hazard'
- Information on a "life and fire safety hazard" at the sinking Millennium Tower in San Francisco was reportedly redacted from an assessment provided to residents in December 2016, according to NBC Bay Area.
- Palo Alto-based building consultants Allana Buick & Bers Inc. were hired to track down the source of unpleasant odors. The firm issued a report indicating that the smells were coming from gaps between the curtain wall and structure, spaces created by the building's "excessive" settlement. The report also said those same gaps "represent a breach in the fire and smoke barrier," a condition that could allow fire and smoke to move quickly from floor to floor, posing a threat to the building's occupants.
- After viewing the new information, Millennium resident Paul Pretlow filed a complaint with the San Francisco Fire Marshal's office, which is expected to conduct an inspection this week. NBC Bay Area did not make any assertions regarding who blacked out the information in the copy given to Pretlow.
In January, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that city officials inspected the Millennium on Dec. 2, 2016, and on Jan. 11, and found the building safe to occupy. Nevertheless, the city did note that there had been some negative effects on the building's electrical system, which they said occurred during settling and from water intrusion in the basement. City engineers, in a July 2017 report, found that the building could likely withstand a seismic event, but said the extreme settlement and tilt warranted "in-depth investigation" into the building.
The possibility of a major fire event must be on city officials' minds given this latest report, which comes only about six months after a high-rise fire in London took the lives of 71 people, according to the BBC. Investigators have pointed to the flammable cladding installers used to explain why the fire in Grenfell Tower in London spread so quickly.
Although there is no reason to believe that the cladding poses a danger to Millennium Tower residents, Grenfell is an example of the threat fire poses to high-rise residents, who can become trapped by fast-moving smoke and flames.
- San Francisco Weekly New Fire Hazards Found in Sinking Millennium Tower
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