Bronx building had numerous open violations at time of collapse

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Tuesday, December 12, 2023
Bronx building had 7 open DOB violations at time of collapse
Lucy Yang has more on the open violations against the building.

MORRIS HEIGHTS, the Bronx (WABC) -- A partially collapsed building in the Bronx that prompted rescue efforts Monday afternoon had multiple open violations, according to officials.

The residential building at 1915 Billingsley Terrace was left without a corner after parts of its structure collapsed into the street, leaving several apartments exposed like a column of shelves, as firefighters worked through the rubble to make sure no one else was trapped.

Kristin Thorne with the latest on the investigation on Eyewitness News @ 10

Kristin Thorne joins the Mornings @ 10 team to explain some violations that may have to do with the Bronx apartment collapse.

According to the Housing Preservation and Development, the seven-story building has had a total of 178 complaints over the last two years and 103 open violations - dating back to May 2019.

As per the Department of Buildings, the property also has seven violations that remained open at the time of the collapse.

During Monday's press conference at the scene, Department of Buildings Commissioner James Oddo said one of the seven violations dates back to March of 2021, related to an unsafe facade condition.

"The owner of the building submitted their most recent report in March of 2021. That report did find unsafe facade conditions," he said. "Seven of them: mortar that was deteriorating; cracked bricks."

NYC officials hold update on semi-collapsed building in the Bronx.

According to the Buildings Department, among the seven open violations, none were related to the structural instability of the Bronx building.

The 1927 building, which was once home to 47 residential units and six businesses, had been undergoing work on the facade as recently as a few days ago.

"I want to be clear: Unsafe facade conditions are not the same as an unsafe building," Oddo clarified at the news conference. "But we are taking a good look at the paperwork, the drawings that they submitted."

As engineers prepare to examine physical evidence from the collapse and inspectors comb through building records, the quest is now on to explain how and why the corner of the property suddenly collapsed.

The disaster turned private apartments into public spectacles - leaving a proud family portrait still hanging and someone's good night's sleep now perched at a dangerous angle.

According to the Red Cross, approximately 31 households (100 people) were left displaced by the building collapse.

"A couple of days, I was thinking about whether buildings could collapse like that," said one resident who lives in the neighborhood. "I was really shocked to see something like that up close."

The search for potential victims remains ongoing.


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