Fire, Water, Burn

Last night I worried that I’d have nothing to write about today. The Washington Post’s Metro section has been painfully boring this week and without a single LSS article to rip on. But then I opened today’s paper:

The likelihood is that the fire would have been controlled with one single sprinkler head.” -D.C. Fire Chief Dennis Rubin about Eastern Market.

Eastern Market was a fucking death trap! Who new?

Turns out that the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee asked the City for fire sprinklers and electrical upgrades FOUR years ago. The City acknowledged the request, but opted to lump critical safety upgrades in with the Market’s broader long-term renovation plan. City Administrator Dan Tangherlini said the renovation plan itself was delayed because vendors and community representatives were sparing over other aspects of the plan. “We wish they had managed their way on this quicker,” Tangherlini said, referring to city officials, community groups, and market vendors.

What a dick! Tangherlini is simply dispersing the blame. Sure, the market vendors could have moved faster, but it’s the City’s responsibility to jump on things like fire hazards and public safety. The old saying “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic” seems apropos. What kind of city puts off installing fire sprinklers in buildings packed with produce, antiques, baked goods and oh yeah…. PEOPLE. All flamable items, Dan.

Oh and then there's this:

Dozens of fire hydrants across the District are not in working order, including the two closest to Monday's fire at the D.C. public library in Georgetown. Fire and union officials say the faulty hydrants often aren't discovered until a fire breaks out, as was the case in Georgetown. [T]he firefighters union has been complaining for years about problems.


  1. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    oi vey!

  2. Are we really surprised? Are we? DC sucks--wow, revelation. If the Mayor went down there and set that fire himself I wouldn't be shocked. If Eleanor Holmes Norton was fanning the flames with the Mayor I wouldn't be shocked....

    you get the picture.

  3. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    Really? So if you were getting ready to renovate your home (you know, the place where you- a PERSON lives and, I presume, sleeps, defecates, etc.) in the near future, you'd opt to spend additonal money to do work which in the end would end up getting done during the renovation?

  4. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    if the hydrants in g'town dont work, what chance do i, a ghetto-dweller, have?

  5. Anon #2,

    Eastern Market is a public site, not a private home. The renovations were delayed for reasons unrelated to sprinkler installation. It was the City's responsibility to strip the safety improvements from the renovation plan and proceed immediately with the sprinkler installation. For four years they avoided doing that and now what was supposed to be a $3 million renovation will cost $30 million in fire damage repairs.

    By the way, the city did find time and money to build a $1.5 million outdoor shed for Eastern Market. Can you tell me how many fire sprinklers that kind of money could buy?

  6. just call dantan "mr teflon." nothin sticks to him!

  7. That's comforting.

    Another example of government incompetence. Which is why I never want them taking care of my health care. I'd come in with a severed artery and they'd hand me a band-aid while they discussed all the pros and cons and paperwork associated with my injury. And then they might set up a commission to study why I died.

  8. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    and what about that new shiny stadium we are going to get, will EVERYTHING in the city be fixed FIRST before we play ball in a new park. Wanna think about the answer for a second....it's NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  9. King Friday---I *heart* U!

  10. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    Despite all the pretentious sentimentality about the fire at this "precious landmark," "community centerpiece," blah blah bla...

    I'd bet you could put an IHOP, a Ruby Tuesdays and an Ace Hardware at that site and they would fucking clean up.

  11. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    Lets volunteer to test all the hydrants!!!

    We'll go one by one. You bring the beer, I'll bring the boom box.

    I assume it will go something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W9kcxdPPjk

  12. Great idea. Also, if it doesn't work you're allowed to park in front of it.

  13. AnonymousMay 02, 2007


    - Girl who posted Summertime

    p.s. I'd like to announce that the only times I've ever gotten a ticket in D.C. is when I've late to move my car because my bus was late to get me there. Way late. Whose fault is that?!?

    Ok, probably mine. Still annoying.

  14. AnonymousMay 02, 2007


    come on, we expected better than just recaps of the post this week.

  15. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    Shut up, Rusty.

    You're just worried he's stealing your crown.

  16. AnonymousMay 02, 2007


  17. AnonymousMay 03, 2007

    "representatives were sparing over other aspects"

    If you're going to be such a fuckstick about everything, at least learn to spell.

  18. I also mispelled "knew" as "new."

    You missed that one, genius.