NYCHA worker claimed broken alarm was working before deadly blaze

DOI report found systemic problems with safety inspections and reporting

TRD New York /
Oct.October 05, 2016 08:00 AM

A New York City Housing Authority worker claimed a smoke alarm at Butler Houses in the Bronx was working just hours before a fatal fire, according to a Department of Investigation report released Tuesday.

The fire at the Butler Houses development in April killed two toddler sisters. Their mother was eventually charged with criminally negligent homicide and acting in a manner injurious to a child. She left the children unattended with burning incense on the third floor of the 21-story Building On Webster Avenue.

The DOI report revealed the two smoke alarms in the apartment were broken, but NYCHA maintenance worker Rene Rivera had reported one as working, the New York Post reported. Neighbors said they had not heard any alarms during the blaze, which killed the children and injured several others.

The investigation also found that Rivera had provided inaccurate information on other maintenance reports. A Housing Authority spokesperson told the newspaper that Rivera, along with eight others mentioned in the report, has been subject to disciplinary action and has since retired. [NYP]Miriam Hall

Related Articles

1065-1075 Gerard Avenue in the Bronx 

Prana pays Related $36M in Bronx multifamily play

448 East 143rd Street in the Bronx (Credit: Google Maps)

Private developer’s NYCHA project in Mott Haven lands $79M in financing

1159 and 1184 River Avenue with Maddd Equities' Jorge Madruga (left) and Joy Construction's Eli Weiss (right) (Credit: Google Maps)

Maddd Equities, Joy Construction score $64M for massive Bronx project

From left: 305 East 47th Street and 286 River Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Here’s what the $10M-$30M NYC investment sales market looked like last week

43-20 49th Avenue in Long Island City and Andrew Chung of Innovo Property Group (Credit: Google Maps)

Andrew Chung tees up Queens’ biggest deal of 2019

Clockwise from top left: 162 West 13th Street, 325 Avenue Y in Brooklyn, 1281 Viele Avenue in the Bronx (Credit: Google Maps)

Here’s what the $10M-$30M NYC investment sales market looked like last week

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Holds Public Housing Town Hall In The Bronx (Credit: Getty Images)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to put rent regulation, mortgage fraud in the national spotlight

Elevated risk: Malfunction at NYCHA is putting public housing residents at greater risk of being injured in its elevators