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Livingstone passes fire code inspection with no violations

SALISBURY — After racking up more than 1,000 fire code violations in the past four years and accruing more than $63,152 in fines, the most in city history, Livingstone College on Thursday passed fire code inspection with no violations.
Salisbury fire inspectors conducted a follow-up inspection of the Honors Dorm and Dancy Hall at Livingstone and determined that all remaining violations have been resolved, city spokeswoman Elaney Hasselmann said in a news release.
In a Feb. 28 letter to the college’s board of trustees asking for a meeting, Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell said he had never seen a facility accumulate so many unaddressed violations and display a lack of commitment to the safety of its occupants.
Livingstone had resolved all but a handful of fire code violations when the issue came to light at the April 1 City Council meeting. City Manager Doug Paris hefted a box of files onto the dais that he said contained the records of 1,023 violations.
That set off a back-and-forth between the city and Livingstone, with college President Dr. Jimmy Jenkins calling Paris’ presentation “inflammatory and irresponsible.”
But the city and college soon announced that they would work together to bring Livingstone into compliance and develop a long-range strategic plan that addresses fire code and safety compliance. Hasselmann said that collaboration will continue.
In a news release issued Thursday, Paris thanked the college for resolving the fire code violations.
“The city is looking forward to working with the college in the coming months to discuss future code compliance, reduction of false alarms and payment of existing fire fines,” Paris said.
Jenkins said installing new fire doors in the residence halls was the last hurdle for inspection, and the school was able to come into compliance almost a month ahead of the schedule that was set for re-inspection.
Jenkins thanked the city for working with Livingstone and said he looks forward to working with Paris on not only fire code and safety compliance issues but other issues that may involve the college and the city working together.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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