When this blog pointed out no permits were found online for the installation of baseboard electrical heaters at 2818 Colfax Ave. N., site of a fire that claimed the life of five children, a commenter told me that electrical permits are issued by the State of Minnesota and not by the City of Minneapolis.
Very well, so I went to the website for the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industries to search out what I could of 2818 Colfax Ave. N. and any permits pulled for electrical matters...
What an awkward website. And I am not sure it pulls permits back for more than a couple of years. But here's what turns up.
On August 22, 2013, about two months before Troy Lewis and his family moved into 2818 Colfax Ave. N., a permit was pulled for some kind of electrical "repair." Here are the details as these appear online:
Details - Permit# ELE1308-07605 Permit Info Site Info Contacts (3) Fees $40.00 Inspections Reviews Chronology Permit#: ELE1308-07605 Type: ELE EXST 1 OR 2 FAM Subtype: RESIDENTIAL EXST Description: Additional Info:: Repair service Status: FINALED Applied Date: 8/22/2013 Issued Date: 8/22/2013 Approved Date: 8/22/2013 Finaled Date: 8/21/2013 Expiration Date: 8/22/2014
This information is consistent with a recent story in the Star Tribune which mentions electric problems in the summer of 2013 reported by a tenant who actually moved out because of the electrical problems.
Another portion of the permit for 2818 Colfax Ave. N. lists the name of the company which performed the work, which (also based on the Star Tribune story) had NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO with any baseboard electrical heaters inside, and may have involved some kind of electrical "mast" on the outside of the building.
Details - Permit# ELE1308-07605 Permit Info Site Info Contacts (3) Fees $40.00 Inspections Reviews Chronology Permit#: ELE1308-07605 Type: ELE EXST 1 OR 2 FAM Subtype: RESIDENTIAL EXST Description: Additional Info:: Repair service Status: FINALED Applied Date: 8/22/2013 Issued Date: 8/22/2013 Approved Date: 8/22/2013 Finaled Date: 8/21/2013 Expiration Date: 8/22/2014 Address: 2818 Colfax Ave N Map View City, State, Zip: MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 55411 Assessor PIN: WEB00091808 County: Hennepin Delegation: Township: Sec-T-R: State Owned: Footage (sq): 0 OWNER Paul Bertelson Address: City: State: Zip: APPLICANT R T S ELECTRIC Address: 8720 257TH AVE NW City: ZIMMERMAN State: MN Zip: 55398 CONTRACTOR R T S ELECTRIC Address: 8720 257TH AVE NW City: ZIMMERMAN State: MN Zip: 55398 Total Fees: $40.00 Balance Due: $0.00 Description Amount Paid Date ELE SURCHARGE FEE $5.00 8/22/2013 Amount Paid: $5.00 Comments: ELE PERMIT INSPECTION FEE $35.00 8/22/2013 Amount Paid: $35.00 Comments:
There is no indication anything was wrong with this work performed by RTS Electric or that it was involved in any way with the fire at the duplex. What is shown, however, is that a search for electrical permits at 2818 Colfax Ave. N. of the kind one would expect for the installation of baseboard electrical heaters turns up...
Another permit which doesn't involve baseboard electrical heaters and happened way, way after the installation of the heaters.
So where is a proper, lawful, i's dotted and t's crossed state-issued permit for the installation of the baseboard electrical heaters? JNS blog continues to ask the question and invites Paul Bertelson (or rather his lawyer, mentioned in the most recent Star Tribune article) to send all the sparky details to this blog.
And if indeed those baseboard electrical heaters were installed under a valid State of Minnesota permit, (on bond paper and everything, with a golden seal) this blog will be happy to shout it from the virtual rooftops and cite, specifically, to the date and the permit number and the greasy fistful of however many slumlord dollars was paid for its routine and lawful issuance.
Something tells me I might be waiting a long, long time on that cold metaphorical rooftop for my opportunity to shout any such news.