Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Monsey fire

Journal News:

An electrical wire powering a portable space heater set off the Gwen Lane house fire that left three families homeless, authorities said yesterday.
The fire started shortly before 10:50 p.m. Sunday in a third-floor bedroom attached to a multifamily house at 1 Gwen Lane, at West Central Avenue.
The space heater had been heating the bedroom for several hours, and the electrical cord probably became overburdened and started the fire, Monsey Fire Chief Andrew Schlissel said yesterday.
"The electrical fire from the portable radiator that feeds into the outlet was the cause," he said. "The outlet burned out, and the electrical circuit breaker panel also burned out."
The fire destroyed the three-story brick house. The homeowner, Nelson Fisch, went to live with family, and his tenants found temporary homes with other families in the community, Schlissel said.
Everyone in the house managed to get out and avoid being injured because smoke detectors activated, he said.
About 70 volunteer firefighters from Monsey, Spring Valley, South Spring Valley and Tallman responded to the blaze, along with Hatzolah and Spring Hill ambulance corps and Rockland Paramedic Services.
The flames caused heavy damage to the front of the house and the south side. The heat melted portions of the vinyl siding and charred insulation.
The Building Department will revoke the house's certificate of occupancy because the building is unlivable, Brian Brophy, Ramapo's building inspector, said yesterday.
"We will give him some time to decide what he wants to do," Brophy said of the homeowner. "He will either have to knock it down and start all over or rebuild it."
Brophy said the house didn't violate any building codes, and such multifamily homes were permitted in the neighborhood under the town's zoning code
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 1:58 PM


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