Rotterdam Super 8 evacuated at midnight

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The asylum seekers at the Rotterdam Super 8 were evacuated around midnight after it was determined the property had no fire alarm or sprinkler system protection. NEWS10 witnessed them board a bus that took them to the Ramada hotel in Albany. 

Officials said it’s just one of six hotels the Rotterdam asylum seekers were taken to. The migrants from New York City arrived at the Super 8 hotel in Rotterdam nearly a year ago. 

According to the Town of Rotterdam, there had been code violations in the past. But Town Supervisor Mollie Collins said none had been as urgent as what happened Wednesday. 

“There have been violations before and the hotel had always worked with us within a timely manner. They have made the corrections that were necessary to keep a safe environment, so there was no need to go any further. They had did what we had asked them to do in a timely manner,” said Collins. 

She said officials were up early into the morning hours, discussing logistics after the Super 8  was evacuated due to no working fire alarm or sprinkler system.

“This really puts peoples’ lives in danger,” said Collins.

The hotel had been issued extensions in the past to resolve violations. Collins said to the best of her understanding all of those violations had been addressed. Until another fire alarm rang on Wednesday.

Carman Fire Department Chief John Nuzback said after they found an issue with the sprinkler system the town inspector was notified. Nuzback issued a statement that read in part: “Upon further investigation by the building inspector they found the sprinkler system and the fire alarm system to not be working properly.”

Collins said after the town determined the structure was “unsafe and unfit for human occupancy” she was contacted by Jackie Bray, the commissioner of the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

There were concerns about how the children were going to get to school the next morning. It was suggested they postpone the evacuation but ultimately Collins said they decided against that.

“To keep them through the night without any fire protection to me is a greater risk to them,” said Collins.

Several of the students are enrolled with North Colonie and Mohonasen Central School Districts. Mohonasen Superintendent Shannon Shine said the situation caught his attention immediately.

“We coordinated until about 10:30 last night as to how will I get kids to school this morning if they aren’t at the Super 8 like normal and we have a bus driver shortage, so my flexibility – especially around pick up time and dismissal – is very limited,” said Shine.

But there’s still information he hasn’t received as far as were they kids are going and what happens next. 

“I have reached out, but have not yet made contact about what our plan is even for tomorrow morning,” said Shine.

It is not yet clear, even to Shine, what other hotels the migrants are staying at but Shine made a promise to keep the kids in school until the end of the year, even if they are located a little farther away, as long as the district can make transportation work.

Nuzback believes evacuating the Super 8 was the right decision, adding, ”We stand by the town and their decision to make the safety of the occupants, as well as our first responders their top priority.” 

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