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BP.TV received reports that a large apartment building in the neighborhood was filled with the smell of smoke this morning, from the ground level up to the top floor. This occurred at approximately 2:00 AM today. Numerous residents called down to the doorman only to receive misleading feedback. The doormen pretended that no one else was complaining, or told callers, “There is no fire” (Of course, smoke is created only when a combustion reaction takes place. Where there is smoke, there is fire).
In fact, what was taking place, unbeknownst to sleep residents smelling smoke, was an amateur search for the smoke by the building staff. The graveyard shift doormen did not want to call the fire department.
Eventually, the source of the smoke was located. It was a kitchen fire on the 10th floor.
Sources told BP.TV that a similar incident occurred in the same building last year. Again, the fire department was not called.
The reason that doormen often do not call 911 and report a possible fire late at night, preferring to investigate on their own first, is that this awakens their boss, the building superintendent. The doormen in this case were instructed to investigate on their own any complaint of smoke, which is an obviously stupid thing to do, and a violation of all building code and policy.
We spoke with the an inspector general for the city who oversee the FDNY and building compliance, and also the local fire department on Liberty Street. Everyone echoed the same message, which is that anyone smelling smoke should call 911 right away, and not call the doorman first.
The FDNY actually likes to respond to calls even when there is no fire. It helps boost their stats and keeps their fire houses from being shut down. So, feel free to use the FDNY. Your doormen are utterly ill equipped to act as fire marshals investigating smoke and will likely drop the ball.