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Bronx Fire Building Cited For Numerous Health and Safety Violations

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

The building in which a tragic Bronx fire erupted two Sundays ago, has been the subject of numerous health and safety violations as well as orders to fix and repair those same items. 

The NY Post reports, “Busted smoke alarms. Broken ovens. Mold and malfunctioning exhaust fans.

Those are among the horrors identified by city inspectors during recent reviews of apartments in a Bronx housing tower before it became the scene of the deadliest fire in a generation in New York City, records reviewed by The Post show.”

One resident complained that the rat infestation in the building was so bad that it was difficult to breathe because of the stench of decaying vermin in the walls of the building.

The decrepit conditions were documented and ordered fixed by the New York City Housing Authority, which was tasked by federal regulations with inspecting 12 of the 120 units in the building because it provided those tenants with rent vouchers. 

Five of the apartments — nearly half of those checked — failed NYCHA’s inspections, which took place between 2019 and 2021.

Two of the units were on the third floor — the same as the apartment where the fire, sparked by a space heater, broke out, according to the Post’s investigation.

The Post concluded, “The findings are the latest evidence of the toll that years of apparent mismanagement and disinvestment took on the high rise, which was heralded upon its completion in the early 1970s as a future model for low- and middle-income housing projects.”

T he Post previously revealed that inspectors from another city agency, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, busted the building six times in recent years for failing to keep the tower’s self-closing doors in working order.

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