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Fire officials shut down haunted house

Inspectors from the St. Petersburg Fire Department temporarily shut down a benefit haunted house at Gateway Mall just hours before it was scheduled to open Friday. Foreboden, a nine-room haunted house built by a group of teenage volunteers, had been planned as a benefit for Girls Inc. of Pinellas County. St. Petersburg Fire Marshall Fred Hawkins could not be reached for comment. Timothy Caddell, Girls Inc. executive director, said fire department officials questioned the safety of some of the materials that were used to construct the haunted house. "We spent about two weeks building this," Caddell said. "I can't understand why no one came earlier. You have to wonder if they are making all the haunted houses in Pinellas County go through this." The main issue, Caddell said, was the safety of a wall constructed out of plastic foam. "We found someone to spray it with flame retardant, but I was told that still isn't enough. At this point I don't know what we're going to do." Caddell said he is scheduled to meet with fire officials today.

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