The city’s Department of Buildings handed out fliers Wednesday in Brooklyn detailing the dangers of illegally converted apartments, following the death of an East New York tenant, who was unable to escape his illegal cellar unit during a fire (see flier below).
The DOB, which is also raising awareness of the issue on Twitter, included a list of common traits among illegal apartments in its pamphlet, including padlocks on bedroom doors and electricity supplied by extension cords. Also of concern are cellar apartments and attic units, which often don’t provide enough exits.
As The Real Deal previously reported, the deadly fire last week broke out at the two-story 568 Drew Street in the early morning. There were no other fatalities or injuries, a New York City Fire Department spokesperson said. At the time, DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri called the incident “a tragic reminder… that illegal conversions can have horrific consequences.”