NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A third-party restaurant and business inspector is facing 21 charges for not doing his contract work correctly.
George Langford is the owner of Protection Plus Systems in Newport News. One of the things his company does is look at fire hood systems to make sure they are up-to-date before the fire marshal inspects them.
Pages of court documents outline mistakes made by Langford. The reports date back to March 2018.
There are certain state and local fire codes that a restaurant must meet when it comes to fire suppression safety systems.
Inspectors must look at how often a hood system is checked or what maintenance needs to be done. According to court documents, the majority of what Langford approved was in violation of those standards.
In many cases, court documents show Langford reported that systems were in full operational order. The Fire Marshal's Office, on the other hand, found they were actually very dangerous. One example stated:
"He indicated that the [aforementioned] system was in compliance indicating: that appropriate appliance coverage existed, that nozzles were clean and clear of debris, that the remote pull station operation was checked, travel of cable was checked etc. Investigation revealed that the fryers were installed in 2016, without electric shunts. The electrical supply powering the fryer appliances would therefore not shut down on activation of the fire suppression system. Therefore, the hood suppression system should not have been tagged in compliance due to mix-matched parts, inadequate coverage of appliances, and no electrical shunts."
Many restaurant owners tell News 3 they feel betrayed.
We also reached out to Langford, giving him the opportunity to share his side of the story, but he declined to comment.
Langford faces 21 charges in total. Six for obtaining money under false pretense and larceny >$200 and 15 for code violations from the fire marshal enforcement.