To the editor: Kudos to Assistant L.A. Fire Department Chief Patrick Butler for expressing his insightful thoughts on high-rise building safety. We tend to get complacent when there are long time spans between tragedies. ("Maybe L.A.'s 'stupid' helipad rule wasn't so dumb," Op-Ed, Oct. 6)
I watched in horror the live coverage of the First Interstate Bank Building fire in 1988. At the time, I was the safety manager for Security Pacific Bank. I was grateful to know that the company had the foresight to install fire sprinklers in its headquarters building at 333 South Hope St. (now a Bank of America building) when it was constructed in 1974, even though doing so was not required at the time.
Mayor Eric Garcetti's plan to stop requiring helipads on the roofs of skyscrapers, a proven and valuable safety feature, reeks of cronyism. High-rise buildings pose many inherent safety risks, and to eliminate the possibility of rooftop rescues so that buildings can have spires or towers and look more interesting is senseless.
Eugene F. Huber II, West Covina