Faulty water pump triggers
‘fire watch’ at state tower
They walk. They watch. They sniff.
A faulty fire system pump at the Board of Equalization’s beleaguered headquarters in downtown Sacramento prompted the state fire marshal last week to put the 24-story tower under “fire watch.”
That means until the system is fixed, someone must continuously walk the N Street high-rise while on the lookout for fire hazards.
“This designated person is not allowed to perform any other work other than the fire watch duties,” according to a board memo to employees.
“The person will walk each floor starting from the penthouse floor down to the 1st floor on a continual basis.”
The secondary pump directs water up and down the 24-story tower, but the sprinkler system would still work if a fire broke out, said Department of General Services spokesman Brian Ferguson.
Repairs could take up to several weeks if a key component has to be fabricated, Ferguson said, but maintenance officials “seem to think they can get the part, off the shelf, in a week.”
The 22-year-old building houses about 2,200 employees who process a variety of state taxes.
– Jon Ortiz
“California as we know it is simply unsustainable.”
CALIFORNIA COMMON SENSE, a nonprofit group dedicated to government analysis, in a report identifying the state’s top 10 challenges. Water supply is first on its list.