Photos, video appear to show unsafe conditions in Plainfield firehouses
A concerned citizen says that firefighters in Plainfield are being forced to live in unsafe conditions.
Photographs and videos obtained by News 12 New Jersey appear to show chipped paint, unfinished ceilings and holes in the walls in all three of the town's firehouses. Plainfield has some of the oldest firehouses still operational in New Jersey.
A firefighter who did not want to be identified tells News 12 that some of the showers are also broken and one of the firehouses' hot water systems is down.
According to a statement from the current Plainfield city administrator, during the previous administration, more than 100 PEOSHA violations were allowed to accumulate. The violations were all remediated by the current administrator, according to the statement.
News 12 obtained documents that show that since 2014, Fire Chief Frank Tidwell requested money to fix some of the problems, including lead paint and asbestos.
The city administrator says officials set aside $160,000 in 2016 to improve firehouse conditions, but Chief Tidwell "has yet to utilize these funds," and "neither Fire Chief Frank Tidwell nor any member of the Fire Division has lodged any new complaint regarding workplace conditions."
The firefighter who spoke to News 12 says that these statements are false.
News 12 New Jersey reached out to several city council members who also say the administration's statement was false, but they would not comment further, citing legal matters. The fire chief was also unavailable to comment.
A city council representative says a statement on the conditions seen in the video will be made public after first consulting with an attorney.