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Fire safety worker faces reckless endangering charges

Lake Oswego Police have charged an employee of Fire Extinguisher Service Center with reckless endangering, after the employee allegedly failed to correctly fix a fire safety system in a Lake Oswego apartment building.

Eric Eugene Weaver, 47, told apartment managers that the system had been repaired and was functioning properly, knowing that the alarm system was not working, said Lake Oswego City Attorney David Powell.

Weaver was charged with 85 counts of reckless endangering.

Rick Nichols, owner of Fire Extinguisher Service Center, said Monday that Weaver believed he had fixed the alarm system and did not intentionally leave it inoperable.

After the company discovered its original work had not fixed the alarm system, 'we were pulled off the job by the fire department,' Nichols said. 'We were not allowed to go back, or we would have done so immediately. We feel this was a miscommunication problem.'

Nevertheless, Nichols said he fired Weaver, because his company's insurer would not allow Weaver to stay on, due to the pending charges.

Weaver was hired to fix the fire alarm and sprinkler system at Parkridge Apartments, 215 Greenridge Drive, in January.

Lake Oswego Fire Department investigators said that fire doors did not close, alarms did not meet audibility requirements, required permits had not been obtained and that Weaver lacked the appropriate licensing to do electrical work on that type of system.

The 85 counts are based upon endangering each of the 85 residents of the apartment building, Powell said.

The fire department determined that the system was not properly working and has required the apartment hire a 'fire watch' company to monitor the site around the clock, until the fire safety system is repaired.

Class A misdemeanors are subject to a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine of $6,250.

Nichols said his fire extinguisher and fire system inspection company has been in business 37 years and never had an employee charged for reckless endangering. Weaver is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges in Lake Oswego Municipal Court on June 13.