Church pastor faces manslaughter charges after deadly fire at Brooklyn SRO

Luckner Lorient warned multiple times over 10 years to vacate 1434 Flatbush Ave.

New York /
Jul.July 29, 2016 09:05 AM

Nearly two years after a deadly fire at an illegal Brooklyn SRO, the church pastor who owned the building was charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

Prosecutors said Luckner Lorient, a 78-year-old pastor, ignored orders from the city’s Department of Buildings to vacate the three-story, wood-frame building at 1434 Flatbush Avenue, the New York Times reported. And despite multiple citations from the FDNY, he continued to run Eglise Baptiste Clarte Celeste on the ground floor of the building. Lorient also illegally turned the top two floors — which had been designed for one-family apartments — into SROs that he rented to 23 people.

In 2014, a fire broke out while most of the tenants were sleeping; many were overcome by smoke and some lost consciousness. More than 100 firefighters managed to get the fire under control within two hours, but one tenant died.

A subsequent investigation found that power strips and extension cords were present in almost every room and in some in hallways.

In a statement Thursday, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said: “This defendant was well aware of the danger of running an illegal S.R.O.,” and yet he “chose to ignore numerous violations and vacate orders issued over many years resulting in this devastating fire that killed a young man and injured many others.”

Lorient faces up to 15 years if convicted on charges, which also include reckless endangerment, third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. On Thursday, he pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is being held on $1 million bail. [NYT] — E.B. Solomont


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
City Councilmember and Housing Committee Chair Pierina Ana Sanchez; Stratford Towers at 1340 Stratford Avenue (Camber Property Group , New York City Council, Getty)
Heat sensor bill inspired by deadly Bronx fire not enough: tenants
Heat sensor bill inspired by deadly Bronx fire not enough: tenants
Empire State Realty Trust's Tony Malkin (Getty, Empire State Realty Trust)
Tony Malkin’s NYE fireworks spark New Zealand blaze
Tony Malkin’s NYE fireworks spark New Zealand blaze
315 Berry Street in Williamsburg and MicroGrid Networks' Anthony Maselli (Getty, Google Maps, Linkedin)
Williamsburg rooftop could become battery storage guinea pig
Williamsburg rooftop could become battery storage guinea pig
(Photo Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
Property managers consider outlawing e-bikes after Midtown fire
Property managers consider outlawing e-bikes after Midtown fire
Council member Pierina Ana Sanchez and RSA’s Joseph Strasburg (Getty; Twitter)
Citing Bronx fire, Council pushes building violation crackdown
Citing Bronx fire, Council pushes building violation crackdown
A photo illustration of 1776 Nostrand Avenue (Getty Images, Google Maps)
Flatbush landlord sentenced in deadly space heater fire
Flatbush landlord sentenced in deadly space heater fire
Commercial Real Estate, The Hamptons, Fire, Southampton, Rental Market
Noyack homeowners issued violations following deadly fire
Noyack homeowners issued violations following deadly fire
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty Images)
Hamptons rental where fire killed 2 skipped safety inspection
Hamptons rental where fire killed 2 skipped safety inspection
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...