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City of Alameda Ignores Asbestos Concerns From FISC Fire

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday April 13, 2009

Attention: Daybook/Assignment Desk

Residents charge that City of Alameda is ignoring asbestos health concerns over Army Medical Depot Fire

ALAMEDA – Alameda residents have had laboratory tests performed on debris in their yard from the March 29th fire at the former Army Medical Depot here and have found evidence of asbestos, contrary to claims by the Alameda Fire Department that the fire did not release dangerous contaminants into the air. The City of Alameda let the fire burn for 19 hours on the day of the fire.

Alameda resident, Liz Williams, who lives within a mile east of the fire location said “The City of Alameda has been stonewalling our demands for debris and air quality testing all across Alameda. One person sampled ash from their property and they were told it contained 10% asbestos. We insist that the City take the lead in testing for asbestos and abating it, for the safety of all residents.” Williams has set-up a website to disseminate information: http://fireinalameda.wordpress.com/

The building has been vacant for years, and a known destination for partying kids and vagrants, even listed on www.Yelp.com. http://www.yelp.com/biz/alameda-abandoned-hospital-alameda and http://optical-allure.livejournal.com/47573.html

It has been a problem spot for the Alameda police and fire departments since it was vacated by the U.S. Army. On the day of the fire, according to Fire Chief David Kapler, the Alameda Fire Department did not use the City’s telephone notification system to warn residents of health concerns, because it is “old and slow.”

Williams and fellow concerned citizens have sent certified, signature-required letters to City of Alameda officials demanding a response, and thorough testing of an Alameda-wide representative sample of debris.

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