From the NY Times:
A Brooklyn row house where two men died in a fire on Friday night was an improvised boarding house, fire officials said.
The officials added that that the three-story, nine-room building, on Covert Street near Broadway in the Bushwick section, did not appear to have a certificate of occupancy that would allow it to be used as a single-room-occupancy residence.
The fire started on the second floor when someone cooking with a hotplate accidentally set fire to a bed, the officials said. “Occupants then made an effort to extinguish the flames,” said James Long, a Fire Department spokesman. “They used a bedspread and curtains.”
When their efforts were unsuccessful, Mr. Long said, the occupants fled, leaving the bedroom door open, and allowing the fire to spread into a hallway and travel upward. Two men on the third floor were trapped by the smoke and flames, Mr. Long said. One man either jumped or fell from a window and died. The second man was found dead at the top of a staircase.
Tony Sclafani, a spokesman for the city Buildings Department, said that the agency had received three complaints in the past year that the building contained illegally converted apartments. “Inspectors visited the location six times in the last year but were denied access each time,” he said.
City Council leaders including the speaker, Christine C. Quinn, issued a statement on Saturday, saying that the Council planned to hold a hearing in June to explore ways to make it easier for inspectors to get into buildings where illegal conversions were suspected.
Check out the description in the Post....