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Building Safety Inspector Ensures the Safety of Others During Fire

Employee of the Week: Roger Bell

October 13, 2017

Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized Roger Bell, a Plumbing/Mechanical Inspector in the City of Albuquerque’s Planning Department, Building Safety Division as the Employee of the Week for preventing a fire from causing harm to a construction crew working at a middle school gym.

This past June, while students were on summer break, Bell was performing a scheduled mechanical and plumbing inspection for the gym at Albuquerque Public School’s Madison Middle School, located at Moon Street and Comanche Road. While Bell was on site, a construction contractor was welding new structural members to an existing, exterior gym wall. By accident, the welding caused a fire to start inside the wall. The construction crew made an unsuccessful attempt to extinguish the fire, which prompted Bell to quickly intervene to begin the necessary safety measures.

Bell immediately dialed 9-1-1 to alert the Albuquerque Fire Department (AFD). Next, he instructed the approximately 20 construction workers to calmly and safely evacuate the area. Bell then took the lead to supervise the perimeter until AFD arrived after approximately 10 minutes. The AFD crew successfully extinguished the fire, which was contained to the small area.  

Bell’s training and knowledge of emergency procedures and regulations, coupled with his swift actions during a critical period of time prevented the construction crew members from being harmed. Furthermore, his quick thinking prevented extensive, costly fire damage to the middle school gym. It is for these reasons that Roger Bell was recognized as this week’s City of Albuquerque Employee of the Week.