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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Springfield Fire officials evacuated the American Inn near I-44 and Hwy 65 Monday after determining the building to be unsafe for occupancy due to an inoperable sprinkler and fire alarm system. The fire code requires buildings equipped with sprinkler systems to maintain those systems in working order for the life safety of the occupants and the protection of the building. Assistant Fire Chief David Pennington said a sprinkler system company notified the Springfield Fire Department, as required, that the sprinkler system in the three-story building was not working. The American Inn provides pay-by-the week accommodations. The Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) coordinated transportation to and from a shelter coordinated by the American Red Cross. About 8-10 residents are being sheltered. “The management of the American Inn is cooperating with us and is focused on the safety of the residents,” Pennington said. Management has been advised that the building is not to be occupied until cleared by a fire marshal. Springfield’s Building Development Services has also revoked the building’s certificate of occupancy until the life safety issues are addressed. It is unknown at this time how long it may take. In the meantime, the American Red Cross is supplying the displaced residents with a card that will allow for food and lodging for three days, with expenses to be paid by American Inn. # # # For more information, Greg Gaines, American Red Cross Disaster Program Manager, at 417-838-4084 or [email protected]; or Cora Scott, City of Springfield Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement at 417-380-3352 or [email protected]