Fatal Queens fire raises concern about illegal apartment subdivisions

TRD New York /
Nov.November 10, 2009 08:47 AM

A fatal Queens fire has put the often controversial issue of illegal apartment conversions at the forefront of residents’ minds once again as community officials, tenants and landlords wonder whether the deaths of three men this past Saturday could have been prevented had they not been living behind an obstructed basement door. The 65th Street home in Woodside was on a block where residents said it was well known that many houses had extra, illegal rooms in their basements. The house that burned, number 42-40, was inspected twice after the Department of Buildings received complaints in 1990 and 2004, but no violations were found, a spokesperson said, but when firefighters got to the home on Saturday, they were unable to reach the victims in time due to the illegal subdivision. Eight similarly illegal rooms were discovered at the house next door after the fire and were evacuated. There are an estimated 100,000 illegally converted units in the city, according to housing advocates, 48,000 of which exist in Queens. [NYT]


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
(iStock, NYC.gov)

NYC buildings are getting energy efficiency grades

NYC buildings are getting energy efficiency grades
Marble Ridge Capital LP's Dan Kamensky and Neiman Marcus at Hudson Yards in New York (Getty; Jewish National Fund)

Hedge fund manager arrested for fraud in Neiman Marcus bankruptcy

Hedge fund manager arrested for fraud in Neiman Marcus bankruptcy
Riza Aziz and (clockwise from left: 912 Hillcrest Road in Beverly Hills, Park Laurel in Manhattan and 2 Lygon Place in London (Getty, Google Maps, Realtor)

“Wolf of Wall Street” producer to forfeit $60M in 1MDB probe settlement

“Wolf of Wall Street” producer to forfeit $60M in 1MDB probe settlement
Melanie La Rocca (iStock)

City moves to speed opening of new and renovated properties

City moves to speed opening of new and renovated properties
348 Court Street (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)

Collapses raise questions about safety-law exemption

Collapses raise questions about safety-law exemption
731 Lexington Avenue (Google Maps)

Former Turner Construction exec pleads guilty in bribery scheme

Former Turner Construction exec pleads guilty in bribery scheme
Savraj Gata-Aura

Bar Works Ponzi schemer sentenced to prison

Bar Works Ponzi schemer sentenced to prison
60 Riverside Boulevard and (inset) the island of Nauru (Google Maps)

UWS condo caught up in bribery scandal tied to world’s smallest republic

UWS condo caught up in bribery scandal tied to world’s smallest republic
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...