Saturday, October 2, 2010
Illegal occupancy turns deadly
From the Daily News:
The blaze that killed an 8-year-old boy may be tied to a hot plate left plugged in at the Brooklyn apartment, law enforcement sources said Thursday.
The fire trapped Avigdor Krasny in his family's third-floor Midwood apartment Wednesday night while his parents were outside in a tent for the Simchat Torah holiday.
The boy's father raced inside, pulling out five of his children - all 10 years old or younger. He couldn't reach Avigdor, who was trapped in his bedroom. The survivors remained hospitalized yesterday, but are expected to survive.
Investigators are also looking into whether the apartment was illegally occupied. The building on Avenue P is zoned to be a two-family home, but the number of mattresses strewn about the floor raised questions about the number of people living there.
Neighbors said at least three families lived in the building. In 2008, the building's owner - Rosenbaum Heshel, who lives on the first floor - was issued a violation for illegal occupancy, according to a Buildings Department official.
The mattresses may have helped spread the flames, fire officials said.
Several of the building's first-floor windows were padlocked, but that would only lead to a violation if there were no other ways to get out, city officials said.
It was not immediately known if the third-floor windows were locked.