Elm Street pub closed for code violation

WESTFIELD – The Fire Department closed Shenanigan’s Pub at 150 Elm St. on Tuesday under state law adopted following a 2003 fire at the Station Nightclub in Rhode Island, which took the lives of 100 patrons, and was the fourth deadliest nightclub fire in American history.
The law requires annual safety inspections of establishments holding a liquor licenses.
Fire Captain Patrick Egloff, the Fire Department fire prevention officer, and Building Inspector Jonathan Flagg, inspected Shenanigan’s Pub last May and found that an existing sprinkler system was not connected to the city’s water system.
The club had lowered its occupancy to below 100 patrons, the threshold which, under the state law, would trigger the requirement for a sprinkler system.
Egloff contacted the State Fire Marshal’s Office following the inspection and was told that if the sprinkler system was more than 50 percent complete, it had to be connected regardless of occupancy limits.
The owners of Shenanigan’s were issued an order of notice to hire a licensed contractor by Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011 and to begin work installing the connection to the city’s water system within 30 days of hiring the contractor. That contractor would then have 30 days to complete the work.
“The building owner, Mr. (Cliff) Laraway, hired a contractor in September to bring water service into the building,”¬†Egloff said Friday.
Egloff gave the pub owner another 45 days to connect the sprinkler system to the city water service. That work would include installation of a back-flow device, installing a four-inch connection between the sprinklers and the outside of the building to allow firefighters to pump additional water into the building through the sprinklers in the case of a fire, and installing an alarm that would trigger if the sprinkler system activated, dropping water pressure within the system.
“It came to the point that we had to shut them down until they are up to code for the sprinkler system,” he said.
“That 45-day period expired on Monday,” Egloff said. “On Tuesday (Nov. 22), I went with three city police officers and took the pub’s license, issuing another order of notice that they will remain closed until they call me for another sprinkler inspection.”
Egloff and Flagg will perform another liquor license inspection to ensure that all safety requirements are satisfied.
“That inspection will include testing the fire sprinkler system, the sprinkler heads have never been tested, inspecting fire extinguishers, the cooking hoods, means of egress and emergency exit lights,” Egloff said.

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