BALTIMORE - Indoor bolts and padlocks on exit doors at Maritime Industries Academy in Northeast Baltimore, a clear violation of fire and safety codes but according to fire department records, a practice that dated back until at least 2011.
Long enough that students we talked to didn't seem all that surprised, but it was an issue that got the attention of the Baltimore City Fire Marshal who the very next morning ordered the staff at the school to remove the bolts and the padlocks.
City school workers spent Thursday morning sawing and unscrewing the locking mechanisms from the doors but in addition to that order, the city fire department conducted the surprise inspection of at least 20 other randomly selected Baltimore schools and it turns out, Maritime Industries Academy is not the only building using padlocks.
ABC2 News Investigators obtained the results of those inspections Friday which show two other schools cited for padlocking exit doors; Waverly and Ashburton Elementary Schools.
While Ashburton had only one door bolted shut, the fire marshal explained it was a clear violation and had it immediately removed.
Waverly Elementary had two exit doors padlocked shut and both of those were removed immediately as well.
The concerns are obvious if exit doors are bolted shut, besides fire think Newtown, or even Perry Hall High School last year.
A grave concern the city school system still refuses to fully acknowledge.
Beyond a short comment about Maritime Industries Academy earlier this week, North Avenue has refused our repeated requests for an interview on this subject now three days in a row.