Pasadena Courthouse: The Other Reason for a Hazmat Response.

Posted on July 29, 2015


Simply put, the buildings steel frame is fireproofed with Asbestos. Any fire or firefighting is going to dislodge asbestos particles and they’re going to free-float through the air. If you are a firefighter, that fire is going to be fought in full scba (self contained breathing apparatus) gear and mutual aid was called in because Pasadena FD didn’t have enough SCBA gear for every firefighter for a sustained firefight.

This brings up a litany of questions.

1. Who was doing the work that led to the fire?

2. Were they licensed?

3. We’re the being supervised at the time and by whom?

4. Who trained them?

5. Did a fire alarm go off?  When?  The news footage showed it happened around 1:30am.

6 Is the building equipped with fire\smoke dampers that immediately remove fire and smoke from the building and were they functional? (we have reports that fire/smoke dampers in a host of courthouses in fact do not work and that the AOC will not issue themselves a mandatory correction notice like a fire department might)

7. What time did the AOC respond?

8. Under whose authority was the building reopened so quickly?

9. Was it thoroughly cleaned and were any contaminants (like asbestos particles) in the environment?

10 Does the building have an analysis report showing asbestos is not present? (we already know the answer)

11. If it is, do the occupants know or have access to the findings and the particulate tests showing it was safe to re-enter?

12. What was the cost and type of the work being performed?

13. When was the last time the AOC Fire Prevention Officer visited this facility? (our affiliate has requested the last inspection report from pubinfo)

14. Were there any disciplinary actions taken against anyone involved in the fire?  If so, what were there positions/roles?

15. What is the estimate overall cost of damage from the fire?

16. How will repairs be funded and conducted?(watch and learn: The AOC will pay their vendor to fix the fire damage they caused like they have done so many times before)

17. Who from the AOC was involved during the assessment phase of damages, possible hazardous waste contamination and in the decision to reopen the building?

18. Was the Court advised that the building has asbestos and the firefighters were wearing scba for a reason?

19, Was the court advised that both flame and water used to control it may have asbestos particles in it and particles may have been released into the atmosphere?

20. Was a containment area established?

If you happen to work in the Pasadena Courthouse, we would LOVE to hear from you. If you’re willing to ask these questions of the AOC, many will probably come back with “we have no administrative records responsive to your request” but we welcome you to ask the questions.