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Outdated panel cause of  high-rise elevator shutdown

Recorder/Paul Franz
Greenfield firefighter Michael Cachat escorts Louella Gaughier up to her sixth-floor apartment at Greenfield Acres until repairs can be made to the elevator.

Recorder/Paul Franz Greenfield firefighter Michael Cachat escorts Louella Gaughier up to her sixth-floor apartment at Greenfield Acres until repairs can be made to the elevator.

GREENFIELD — Project Manager Mark Joudrey of Greenfield Acres said Monday’s elevator shutdown of the high-rise for the elderly stems from an outdated electrical panel.

The shutdown disrupted access to the nine-story building’s 94 apartments for residents forced to either take the stairs or wait if they could not do so.

“What had happened is we had a fire-alarm situation out there and when the Fire Department came and tested it, the recall system failed,” he said. The recall system is designed to return elevator cars to the ground floor, bypassing any floors where there is fire.

Joudrey said he didn’t know when the problem was discovered, but he was notified Friday. Joudrey said the alarm panel, which includes the recall system, has had problems over the years and replacement parts are no longer available.

Joudrey said Tuesday they have ordered parts, they are being shipped overnight, and they hope to have the entire alarm system updated before the end of the week, hopefully sooner, with the fire recall element the first priority.

The state elevator inspector ordered the elevators shut down Monday afternoon in response to the failure of the recall system, a requirement of the elevator code.

One elevator was operating Tuesday, with the power restored Monday evening after the company, elevator inspector, town building inspector and Fire Department settled on a 24-hour fire watch as a temporary solution, with two firefighters operating one elevator at the company’s expense.

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