Starke County Commissioners Set Building Emergency Sealing Policy

Crime Scene – Do Not Cross

Starke County now requires the emergency sealing of structures destroyed or damaged by fires. The county commissioners passed a Monday at the recommendation of building commissioner Terry Stephenson. He says sealing a building preserves the integrity of the fire scene for an insurance company investigation. If a structure is no longer standing, Stephenson says safety tape should be used to cordon off the area.

He hopes the policy will also clear up the public misconception that nothing can be done until the insurance company arrives. Stephenson says insurance adjusters want buildings sealed as quickly as possible in order to lessen the likelihood of additional damage. He adds they have money to reimburse property owners for the expense. ”

Starke County dispatchers will have a list of companies that can secure a burned-out structure, and they will be called on a rotating basis similar to that the county uses for towing companies.