Fire commissioner accepts blame for missing necessities at firehouse

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Detroit's fire commissioner says he takes full responsibility for firefighters not having basic necessities at the firehouse.

Crews have been without toilet paper and cleaning supplies at the stations. Fire Commissioner Donald Austin tells 7 Action News the problem was two-fold.

An outside vendor withheld the products when one of the many departments it supplies didn't pay its share of the cost. Austin says that issue has been resolved.

The second error was an internal glitch that Austin says was his fault for not catching and fixing.

The department switched to a new purchasing and inventory system in July. Each station was outfitted with its own tracking system for many things including overtime and bathroom supplies.

Austin says that system didn't recognize when one firehouse had an abundance of supplies while another was out of stock.

Austin says the redistribution will be complete by 4:00 p.m. Tuesday. He expects the glitch in the inventory system to be fixed by the end of the week.

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