Inspectors find dozens of violations at buildings owned by landlord of house where 5 died in fire

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Landlord faces dozens of violations after 5 killed in house fire
Inspectors found dozens of violations at buildings owned by the landlord of a house in Spring Valley where five people died in a fire. Marcus Solis has the latest details.

SPRING VALLEY, Rockland County (WABC) -- Inspectors found dozens of violations at buildings owned by the landlord of a house in Spring Valley where five people died in a fire.

The violations stem from two neighboring buildings owned by Jacob Jeremias for electrical issues, missing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and illegal single-room occupancies.

The Rockland County Office of Buildings and Codes inspected the building next door to the fire, which Jeremias also owns, immediately after the blaze which led to citations for multiple violations including illegal conversions.

And on Tuesday, inspectors combed over four more buildings he owns.

"Work done without a permit, broken windows, there's just numerous violations throughout this building," Rockland County Buildings and Codes director Edward Markunas said.

They are similar conditions to what officials say exsisted in the home that went up in flames Saturday, killing five members of one family. The landlord-jacob jeremias owns several properties in spring valley and beyond.

A tenant in one of the homes being inspected on Tuesday said a worker installed brand new smoke detectors in the buildings Monday night.

"I don't go upstairs that much because I see the roof collapsing a little bit," tenant Brian Ladino said.

Eyewitness News' efforts to reach Jeremias in person and by phone were unsuccesful.

Each inspection racks up potential fines. Last year, the state ordered the county to take over in Spring Valley following the arrest of the village's former inspector.

"The lack of oversight in the Village of Spring Valley was, for years, and to see these conditions existing throughout building, by building, by building, is very disturbing," Markunas said.

Tenants of the home destroyed by the fire had filed five prior complaints, but all had been resolved "with landlords curing the violations," according to a statement from Rockland County Executive Ed Day's office.

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