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Fort Myers Beach Fire Marshall highlights building inspections after Miami condo evacuation

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. – The people who inspect buildings in Southwest Florida vary depending on where you are, but in Fort Myers Beach, the Fire Marshall is largely responsible.

“Fire inspectors and fire marshals are not structural inspectors, are not engineers,” said Fort Myers Beach Executive Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshall Ron Martin. “But, they have advanced training in building construction and construction techniques that are used today.”

NBC2 spoke to Martin after a Miami condo building was evacuated for unsafe conditions. This comes as crews continue to investigate what caused the deadly Surfside condo collapse.

“We always put an emphasis first on those occupancies such as places of public assembly, high rise structures, manufacturing locations,” Martin said. “Things that will represent the highest potential life loss should an emergency occur.”

Martin said his team tries to inspect all structures that qualify in Fort Myers Beach at least once per year. If he finds something suspicious related to the structure of the building, they call in specialists.

“We have a cooperative working agreement with our partners in the building department with the town of Fort Myers Beach as well as the building department with Lee County government,” he said. “Over the last ten to eleven years that I’ve been fire marshal, we’ve mitigated many unsafe structural concerns with that partnership.”

Martin said he and other inspectors shouldn’t be considered the first line of defense. Instead, he suggested property owners and tenants be proactive in ensuring safe living conditions. He emphasized the importance of reporting potential issues immediately before they can turn into a catastrophe.

The post Fort Myers Beach Fire Marshall highlights building inspections after Miami condo evacuation appeared first on NBC2 News.


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