After several delays, Haunted House opened Wednesday night

After nearly three weeks of delays, the Haunted House sponsored by KISS 106.1 opened Wednesday night.

The spooky attraction near the corner of 196th& Highway 99 was scheduled to open Oct. 7, but the company that built it ran into some problems with the permitting process. It’s being housed in the former Lynnwood 4 Theater.

“Building and fire codes adopted by the state last year, which we are required to enforce, added life safety requirements for events such as these,” Community Development Director Paul Krauss told us. “City staff informed the applicants of these requirements some time ago yet they failed to deal with items including flammability of the displays, connection and quality of the fire alarm and sprinkler systems and the like.”

City staff first met with company representatives in August, when they were trying to identify potential buildings in Lynnwood for a haunted house. They responded that they have been doing these events for years and were well aware of the code requirements, according to David Osaki, Community Development deputy director.

Osaki said they met on-site with company representatives in September to help with the permitting process. “At that time, we observed that much of the framing and electrical components were being installed without required permits. Not only was work being done without permits, but what had been done was incorrect and inconsistent with code requirements.”

The city said by the early part of October, the company still had not met several requirements.

“As recently as last Friday city staff offered to work overtime to complete final inspections only to find that the alarm systems had not been activated and at least one section was built of material that easily ignited and spread,” Krauss said. “The city received a number of e-mails from residents who often implied that the city was acting out of some sort of bad faith to deny their children a Halloween event.”

But that just wasn’t the case, Osaki said.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that the Haunted House meets code requirements to ensure the safety of its customers. One can only imagine what could happen if people are in a dark, crowded, unfamiliar, noisy and confined area that has had unauthorized electrical work, no provisions for safe exiting, materials that have not been treated for fire protection and no fire protection alarm system in place,” Osaki said.

The requirements were finally met and a permit was issued earlier this week. The Haunted House will be open every night through Sunday. Tickets are $15.

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