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Building Code Violations and Deadly Fires

December 31st, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

There have been too many deadly fires this past week and the one factor they have in common is that each of the buildings had preexisting code violations.  The fire in Chicago in which 2 firefighters died after a building collapsed demonstrated the hazard of vacant buildings. Eight squatters died in a fire in New Orleans in a building that had been cited for structural violations in 2007. In Yonkers, N.Y. a man died in a residence that had been illegally converted into multiple dwellings, including a basement apartment. It was reported at LoHud.com that:

The day after the fire, city inspectors visited the property and issued four summonses against the Walshes for illegally converting their basement into an apartment, illegally using the first floor of their two-family home as a boarding house and blocking fire exits, among other violations.

Owners often get angry at building and housing code inspectors because they feel the inspectors are interfering with their ability to use their property as they desire and because compliance with the code costs them money.  Tragedies like these demonstrate why we have codes and why strict enforcement is necessary.

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