Eischens will finish inspections Wednesday

Eischens Management said it will make sure working fire alarms and extinguishers are in each of its buildings.

Molly Moker

Eischens Management announced Tuesday it would be completing an inspection of all its properties by the end of Wednesday.

Eischens spokesman Pat Brink said the business has already sent letters to student tenants instructing them to check smoke detectors and reconnect them if they were taken down.

“We’ll be ensuring that the smoke detectors are working, and that there are fire alarms and fire extinguishers in each building,” Brink said. “We’re taking this one step at a time.”

University senior Jake Fitz, who lives in an Eischens-owned house on 15th Avenue Southeast, said Eischens checked his home Tuesday afternoon.

“I feel safer for sure now,” Fitz said. “But if they wouldn’t have done the inspections, I would have done them myself.”

Fitz said he has not had any major problems with Eischens Management but complained about the slow response time for repairs.

Another Eischens tenant, Paul Stien, said an inspection would take care of his safety concerns, but he is more worried about the possibility of him and his roommates being evicted if the house is not up to standards.

“We’ve already talked about what we’d do if our house was shut down,” Stien said. “I have no idea. Hopefully Eischens would hook us up with something.”

Stien said there are no fire detectors on the first floor of his house, but Eischens has yet to inspect it.

Some Eischens tenants said they will not feel safe, regardless of inspections.

Sophomore Evelyn Jones said Eischens checked her house on Eighth Street Southeast at 11 p.m. Monday. She said the inspection did not make her concerns go away.

“I definitely do not feel safe,” Jones said. “I wish I could have more answers from what happened (on Saturday). I don’t know if I am just being paranoid or not.”

Jones said her housing concerns and paranoia have increased since Saturday’s fire. She said she is very concerned with the property’s gas appliances.

“I actually woke up in the middle of the night last night and thought I smelled gas,” Jones said.

Jones said the gas company came to check for leaks after she moved in Sept. 1. Workers did not find leaks on the property and told her the smell was because the stove’s pilot light was shut off.

A Minnegasco technician said gas stoves should be replaced if pilot lights continually shut off. Newer gas stove models have automatic pilot lights designed to not shut off.

Jones said she is still wary of her gas appliances. She does not want to turn the stove on for fear of starting a gas fire.

“We asked them to come out and look at it, but they told us to just turn the stove on and see if it works,” Jones said. “But we’re all too afraid to do that.”

During Monday’s inspection, Jones said Eischens installed new smoke alarms and left a fire extinguisher. They did not check the stove, she said.