OTTUMWA, Iowa — Officials are questioning the safety of the fire escape stairs at the Wapello County Courthouse in Ottumwa.

The Ottumwa Courier reports that the stairs may be starting to pull away from an outside wall. The escape stairs are required to support 800 pounds (363 kilograms), and they failed during a recent test.

An engineer and an architect have checked the building, talked with state authorities and plan to talk to the Ottumwa department about what’s required for safety.

The estimated cost for a new fire escape is $250,000 — money that has not been budgeted.


Information from: The Ottumwa Courier, http://www.ottumwacourier.com