Tuesday, June 9, 2015

FDNY disagrees with DOB's fire escape removal permit

From DNA Info:

An architect pushing to remove fire escapes from two SoHo buildings has received permission from the city to move forward with one of the projects, city records show.

The Department of Buildings approved Joseph Pell Lombardi's application to remove the fire escapes from 69 Greene St. last Thursday, records show.

Lombardi, a preservation specialist, wants to remove the fire escapes from 69 and 71 Greene St. as part of a renovation of the two buildings. He has said that the fire escapes are not old enough to be considered historic, and insists that they are unsafe.

But residents are concerned that removing them would affect their ability to evacuate in the event of a fire — their only other egress is an internal staircase made of wood — and an FDNY engineer has submitted written testimony to the city expressing misgivings about the fire escapes' removal.

That same FDNY engineer, John Yacovone, sent an email Wednesday to the building's management company, Esquire Management, "respectfully request[ing] that you cease and desist" with any alterations to the building geared toward the fire escape removal, after worried tenants reported construction workers nailing the door to the second floor fire escape shut last Monday.


Anonymous said...

Echos of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire.

Anonymous said...

Have we not learned from past events? Stupid to remove fire escapes.

Jackson Heights Johnny said...

How can this be legal? -or- even possible?

What would residents do if the only method of egress (staircase) is blocked by fire?

I would be terrified to live in these buildings!

Anonymous said...

FDNY should order the building vacated if DOB sides with the developer. Seriously - I don't care if they install sprinklers... a wooden stairs as the only means of egress is ridiculous. Why the fuck is the DOB so bent on putting public and first responder lives in danger?

r185 said...

I've always been under the impression that you need either an exterior fire escape or an interior hallway automatic sprinkler system.

Anonymous said...

For the record, every brownstone/row house that was made into a multiple dwelling sometime over the last century and a half has no fire escape, just a wood stairway with fire sprinklers in the stairway only. Having said that, I think that if the DOB is going to allow the removal of existing fire escapes the building should be retrofitted with 100% fire sprinkler coverage, not just stairway coverage.
As a matter of fact all new or substantially renovated residential buildings, multiple dwelling or one family should have mandatory full fire sprinkler protection.
Remember when there is a properly installed and maintained fire sprinkler system NO ONE EVER DIES in a fire.
I know that the real estate industry does not want to hear this.

JQ said...

What a moron, and if some morons think that spending millions to buy a loft in soho makes them impervious to fire, then let them burn.

With all the monolith towers and this schmuck more concerned with aesthetics than safety, the FDNY should not even bother risking their lives to save these people and their tax shelters

Anonymous said...

How common is it for there to (a) be a fire, and (b) the fire escapes are functioning and actually used to escape the fire?