Building official: Repeat violations are common during building inspections

Fire inspection reports show that a Floral Park building that caught fire received dozens of safety violations since 2012.

Rachel Yonkunas

Jun 16, 2023, 9:46 PM

Updated 344 days ago

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Team 12 Investigates continues to press for answers about the safety of a Floral Park building before it caught fire in April.
Fire inspection reports show that the building received dozens of safety violations since 2012.
Floral Park's Superintendent of Buildings Renee Marcus says they see repeat violations often.
"For us to go in once a year, something that we see one day, things could change," Marcus says. "One day you could have one building that has a perfect fire inspection report, and then the next day they block all the exits. We only see that snapshot in time, so it's very difficult to say."
Building and fire officials say inspectors are often understaffed and overworked, which puts a lot of the responsibility on owners.
Team 12 Investigates contacted the landlord of the building to ask him about his buildup of safety violations.
When asked about a 2022 report that that said there were items stored too close to the sprinkler, the landlord said, "I'm not aware of this, I don't believe I have that report." The landlord then hung up.
Building officials say their authority can only go so far even when minor violations add up.
"If it's something we feel is life-threatening or over our heads, we'll call the fire marshal in," Marcus says. "They have a lot more power than we do to shut down businesses or give violations with fines."


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