State Fire Marshal pays halfway house surprise visit
BAKER- Investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office paid a surprise visit to a halfway house that has been under the microscope since last month.
The 'All the Way House' in Baker was filthy when we first visited. A dead rat, bed bugs and other deplorable conditions are what the men living there dealt with. Pastor Ricky Sinclair said he was unaware that it looked like that at the time and promised to clean it up.
Following our story, the State Fire Marshal paid them a visit and cited them for not being in compliance. The facility was not permitted with the state, and there were no smoke detectors inside. Pastor Sinclair was given a time frame on when he needed to get fire alarms and was placed on a fire watch for the men living there.
Today, investigators came again.
"We are still maintaining a fire watch on the facility which is individuals roaming around the facility," Browning said. "All night long, while people are sleeping, if they sense an emergency they wake people up and evacuate the building."
Browning said additional complaints also came in about other possible properties that may have not been permitted.
"The investigation is still underway," Browning said. "It takes time to get access to properties and these are recent complaints we received."
Sinclair told WBRZ, he is not operating any other unpermited properties. He also said his clean up of the halfway house continues.
"We've got a big ministry and I was negligent on my part," Sinclair said. "I didn't realize it was like it was, but when you came in I saw it for myself and we haven't stopped cleaning since you were here."
Sinclair has a few more weeks to get in compliance. Finalized reports will be submitted soon before alarms are installed in the building.