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Inspection of downtown buildings result in code violations

Buildings being inspected for code violations and historical value. (KFOX14/CBS4)

Several downtown buildings were cited for code violations by city of El Paso inspectors.

City officials said The Caples, The Kress, Haymon Krupp and the Fallas-Paredes building were in violations of several codes.

Dangerous combustible accumulations throughout building, structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing and fire code violations, building not secure, open to trespassers and exterior of historic properties not kept in an appropriate manner were some of the violations found, according to city officials.

"These four specific buildings were identified as very serious in terms of the hazards they represent," city development leader Jessica Herrera said.

Hazards such as unwanted entry, graffiti and animal habitation are some of the complaints the city received.

In 2017, the El Paso Fire Department took inventory of the vacant downtown buildings. It identified and classified the buildings with serious fire, safety or structural risks.

“You have a lot of traffic and a lot of pedestrians walking around that area,” Herrera said.

It’s priority to bring the buildings up to code. “As we continue to revitalize downtown, it's going to be important to maintain and restore our buildings," Herrera said. “These are all historic buildings that are really securing federal and state tax credit, leveraging state incentives and city and county incentives as well."

Building owners have 30 days to board and secure unlawful openings into the buildings and elevator shafts, clear rubbish and debris, and provide access to fire protection equipment. If these corrections are not made within 30 days, the cases may be referred to the city of El Paso’s Building and Standards Commission, said city officials.

The city conducted its inspections on the buildings Wednesday and Thursday. Herrera said she hopes to work with the historical commission to see what they can do to maintain the historic elements of the buildings and how the buildings can be used.

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