The Trump administration’s efforts to fix a problem with the fire extinguishing system used to extinguish fires at the White House have led to more than 100 fires at White House grounds, the Associated Press reported Monday.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the agency has already identified at least 100 potential causes of the fires, including the use of non-essential personnel and a lack of staffing.
But he said the White’s Office of Emergency Management has not determined a definitive cause.
Earnest also told reporters Monday that the fire alarm system was “the one thing” that caused the fires.
The system was supposed to detect the presence of flames within 24 hours, but Earnest acknowledged that many fires occurred during the first two weeks of the year.
The problem, he said, is that “it was not working.”
The problem has been rectified, he added.
The White House has been using the fire alarms to alert people to the presence and spread of fires.
The department was using them to warn people of possible smoke stacks and the danger of an incendiary device inside the building.
Earnest also noted that “every day, we get more fires.”
The fire alarm systems were installed in the White Houses, the Capitol and other federal buildings in the 1970s.
They were intended to alert staff and the public to the threat of an imminent fire, as well as the presence or spread of potentially hazardous materials.
The system was later replaced by a fire alarm that alerted staff to the fact that a fire was imminent, rather than to the number of people inside the facility.
The AP reported that many of the fire-out fire extinguishments in the West Wing are made by Tascam, a company based in Ohio.
The AP also reported that the White Senate Office of the President is using a Tascamp fire extinguishment system.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.