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Seton Hall Dorm Wasn’t Inspected

February 16, 2000

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP) _ No fire inspection had been done since October 1998 at the Seton Hall University freshman dormitory where a blaze killed three students, the township’s attorney said today.

In addition, no report was made of that inspection because no violations were found, South Orange township attorney Edwin A. Matthews said. The township knows that an inspection occurred then, he said, since it’s mentioned in the monthly report of its fire chief and because it billed Seton Hall about $700 for it.

The fire inspection records were to be unsealed today.

Two newspapers sued under a state right-to-know law to inspect the records but at a hearing last week, the Essex County prosecutor’s office asked a Superior Court judge to seal the records for 90 days so investigators could interview witnesses without possible media interference. Today prosecutors dropped their objections.

The cause of the Jan. 19 fire at Boland Hall has not yet been determined.

One inspection is conducted each school year, Matthews said. The inspection for the 1999-2000 school year had not yet been done.

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