Here’s The Real Meaning Of The Red “X” On Some Massachusetts Structures
Slater and Marjo were talking about that star you see on some people's homes, most of of the time, you'll see it on a barn. Some folks have multiple stars. Here's what that star means.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THAT RED "X" THAT LOOKS TO BE ON DILAPIDATED BUILDINGS ONLY?
Most people believe that the red X is to signify that the building is condemned or nearing collapse or is soon to be razed. Neither is the case, well, kind of.
The X signifies that the structure has been deemed unsafe for interior firefighting or first responders.
I had a chance to speak with Deputy Chief Neil Myers of the Pittsfield Fire Department.
"The inspection bureau generally has a checklist that they go over that has different criteria that they'll go through in conjunction with the Chief, they'll do a walkthrough and if there are conditions that could directly kill somebody, then it gets a red X.", said Myers.
"There are about six structures in Pittsfield that are currently marked with a red X. Once a vacant building is brought up to code, the red X can be removed. If there was ever a fire in a structure marked with a red X, then we would maintain exterior operations only, unless there is somebody inside and we feel like we can take the risk to save a life, we'll weigh the options at the scene."
Myers also referenced the fact that the cold storage building fire in Worcester, MA in December of '99 was a vacant building. He believed that the building was marked; however, there was word that there were two homeless people inside, so they sent guys in to search. Six firefighters perished in that blaze. "That's why we use those Red X's, so we don't lose firefighters."