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EuroGyro work set Saturday

SALEM — Fire Chief Scott Mason said Tuesday that he was told work to stabilize the EuroGyro building is scheduled to begin Saturday.

He received a call from EuroGyro restaurant and building owner George Istocki, who provided the name of the contractor, Premium Commercial Roofing of Mechanicstown. Mason talked to a Premium Commercial Roofing representative and instructed him to notify the fire department when workers are there and to include how many are working inside the building so there’s an accounting of how many are supposed to be there.

Plans call for the contractor to run cables to tie the walls together and remove debris to stabilize the three-story structure.

“They hope to complete stabilizaton in four to five days,” Mason said.

He noted that this contractor is different from the one he spoke to last week at the building. Ohlin & Reed Structural Design Consultants, the engineering firm hired by Istocki, advised then that stabilization plans had been approved by the state and work would begin this week. Plans for a permanent repair are still being prepared.

The building has remained closed since Nov. 14 when fire department personnel noticed a separation between the south wall and an interior wall on the third floor after responding to an alarm report, raising a concern with the building’s stability. Some work had been done on the roof in October. On Nov. 15, an engineering firm hired by the city inspected the building and recommended State Street be closed between Ellsworth and Howard.

On Monday, Prugar Consulting, an engineering firm retained by the building insurer, inspected the building and determined that Ellsworth Avenue between State and Second should also be closed as a precaution due to the instability of the building, noticing some bowing on the east wall. Ohlin & Reed also agreed that Ellsworth should be closed.

A report by Prugar Consulting outlined “concerns regarding the structural integrity of the roof framing and exterior walls and the danger of a building collapse” to Istocki and his insurance adjuster, recommending that stabilization begin immediately. Mason said when he talked to a representative of Prugar Consulting, he questioned the safety for anyone going inside to stabilize it. Ohlin & Reed said they had plans in place for the contractor to try to ensure their safety, such as limiting time inside.

City Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst said he wants the engineering firm hired by the city, Barber and Hoffman, to look at the building once the stabilization work is complete to ensure it’s safe to reopen the streets before he gives the go-ahead to take away the barricades.

On Tuesday, Mayor John Berlin said the traffic lights at the intersections of Second and Ellsworth, Howard and State and Ellsworth and State were all switched to blinking red to alleviate traffic congestion caused by the road closures. He said they may put up stop signs, too. With red blinking traffic lights, motorists should treat the intersections like four-way stops.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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