Vacant building collapses in Brooklyn

July 16, 2012 3:20:53 PM PDT
Angry neighbors are demanding answers after a building they have complained about for years suddenly collapsed.

No one was inside the vacant residential building on Ovington Avenue, between 5th and 6th Avenues, in Bay Ridge.

A call came in about the collapse just after 3 a.m.

Neighbors had no choice to evacuate as a precaution after the house next door caved-in.

No one was injured and the cause was not immediately clear, but the building had been vacant for the last five years and left to deteriorate by the landlord, Mousa Khalil.

Seventeen complaints have been called-in since 2004. City inspectors issued three violations. It was last inspected in June after the second floor collapsed. .

That violation is still open and the remainder of the building came down as firefighters poured water on it this afternoon.

Khalil admitted his building was decrepit, but insisted it was not a threat to residents.

The local councilman, Vincent Gentile, says that's ridiculous. According to city records, another vacant house owned by the same landlord has six open violations. Under New York City law, landlords can allow their vacant properties to waste away, so long as they pay their taxes and there's no immediate risk to neighbors.


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