Yakima is still on the case of low-budget motels on North First Street. The Economy Inn Motel had its first raid by YPD and Yakima Code Enforcement back in the spring.
They found numerous code and safety violations. During this re-check, they found even more.
"These were all the numbers of the smoke detectors in the rooms that did not work and I know we discussed this in detail. That's the number 1 priority when you rent your rooms,” City Codes Manager Joe Caruso told Action News.
The visit to the Economy Inn was a random spot check on problematic motels.
The city wants to avoid future problems, especially safety threats. It includes a lack of fire alarms, fire extinguishers, piping issues and doors not locking properly.
“It was open like that,” Caruso said.
“Yea the people going out leave it like that,” said Piara Nan, the motel manager.
Owner Piara Nan blames many of the issues on his tenants.
"People come in different kinds. You don't know what kind of people rent the room. They give a lot of problems,” Nan told us.
The stench of cigarettes and marijuana linger in the air. Nan says tenants disarm the fire alarms to hide the smoke. This motel has had frequent run-ins with Yakima police.
“This past Sunday...it was for domestic violence,” said a motel staff member.
"They smoke, they fight and they break the stuff and it's a tough business,” said Nan.
The Economy Inn isn't the only motel facing numerous code violations along North First Street. YPD says other problematic motels are along Fruitvale and Yakima Avenue.
The city is cracking down. With raids in the spring and random checks in the fall, Yakima hopes it forces motel owners to take action.