Life safety issues too numerous to allow occupancy until corrected
HAGERSTOWN -A 4:21am call reporting a building fire on the fifth floor of APM Inn and Suites at 431 Dual Highway resulted in the condemnation of the hotel on Monday, 6 February 2023. No fire was ultimately discovered; however an investigation was ordered after the incident commander interviewed a patron who indicated that the fire alarm box failed to function when the alarm was pulled.
According to the Hagerstown Fire Marshal’s Office, an ensuing inspection determined that the fire alarm was compromised, the sprinkler system in the hotel was turned off, smoke detectors in many of the rooms were not functional, fire separation issues existed, and along with additional code violations, there was no heat in the majority of the building.
Consequently, due to the prevailing health and life safety issues, the Fire Marshal’s Office and the City’s Planning & Code Administration Department agreed that there was no other choice but to condemn APM Inn and Suites until corrections and repairs are made to address the problems and violations they found within the property.
In all, three businesses and more than 100 people occupying 67 rooms had to find other places to stay. Representatives from the Washington County Community Action Council, Horizon Goodwill, and Washington County Public Schools worked together with Ashley Roush, the City’s Community Liaison Coordinator with the Hagerstown Police Department to assist in that process.
“As both a councilmember and someone who works in the nonprofit world, it’s disturbing to see people pay good money in good faith for a place to live or stay thinking that it’s safe only to be displaced because it’s not,” Councilmember Tekesha Martinez lamented. “What they’re facing is an extremely tough situation right now, but it could have been much worse. I applaud the Hagerstown Fire and Code Enforcement Departments for taking the necessary steps to save their lives,” Martinez said. “Unfortunately, the City and partner agencies can only do so much when owner-operators of such establishments take advantage of patrons instead of protecting them and that needs to be addressed.”
There was some good news, as individuals in six rooms had been placed in permanent housing as of Monday afternoon.