I-Team: Providence school inspections under way - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

I-Team: Providence school inspections under way

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PROVIDENCE -

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says he's following through on a promise to improve the city's record on fire inspections.

Thousands of Providence children have been going to schools that went years without any record of fire inspections.

The I-Team uncovered this safety lapse in November 2012. At the time, city leaders promised to inspect every school, every year going forward.

"This is something that is unacceptable," Taveras told NBC 10 during a taping of "10 News Conference" on Friday. "We're addressing that by inspecting each and every school. We've already done about 20 as I sit here (Friday) and talk with you. We'll have all of them done before the end of this year."

Taveras also noted that all public schools have working fire alarms and conduct regular fire drills. But he said fixing the inspection system is a priority.

To find out how big the problem really was, the I-Team spent months digging through inspection reports, discovering that inspections for most schools were at least five years old.  Some schools were seven, nine or even 10 years out of date.

In the course of the investigation, the I-Team found a letter from state fire marshal Jack Chartier to the city of Providence, dated Nov. 30, 2011. In the letter, Chartier tells the city that "complete inspections of nightclubs shall be conducted at least annually."

As a result, the I-Team searched records for 60 bars and nightclubs across the city, learning there were no current inspections to be found. Like schools, most inspections for clubs and bars were at least five years out of date.

Taveras said that's about to change.

"With respect to the nightclubs, we're doing them as well. They are a priority for us. Public safety is important," he said. "This is something that should not have happened, and we're doing everything we can to address it."

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    Katie Davis

    Katie Davis is an I-Team reporter at NBC 10. She joined the team in January 2010 and is excited to live and work in New England.
    Katie Davis is an I-Team reporter at NBC 10. She joined the team in January 2010 and is excited to live and work in New England.
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    Parker Gavigan is an Associated Press award-winning journalist, and was named to the NBC 10 I-Team in January 2013. Parker digs deeper to get the answers that matter to you.
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