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Negligence exposed after deadly electrical fire at parkchester Condos, residents call for safety

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A recent investigation into fire safety at Parkchester North and South Condo complexes has uncovered alarming lapses in compliance, raising serious concerns about resident safety following a tragic electrical fire last October.

Peter Hamilton, representing the Parkchester Watch Group, has sounded the alarm, accusing management, sponsors, and elected officials of gross negligence in maintaining fire safety standards across the sprawling complex comprising 171 buildings and 12,200 apartments.

The issue first surfaced in May 2023 when Hamilton formally requested that the FDNY’s fire safety notice regarding E-bike battery safety be prominently displayed in each lobby.

Despite reminders, the notice failed to appear in key public areas, prompting fears of inadequate safety measures across the vast property.

Tragically, Hamilton’s fears were validated when a fatal electrical fire erupted in the North Condominium last October. While the exact cause remains under investigation, initial reports suggest an electrical fault, possibly unrelated to e-bike batteries. This incident underscores the urgency of adhering to basic fire safety protocols.

In response to the Parkchester Watch Group’s inquiries, it was discovered that several buildings had failed fire safety inspections. Shockingly, public records revealed that at least four buildings had recently been cited for critical safety violations:

– 1579 Metropolitan Avenue: Failed to maintain required markings/labels at the standpipe system, resulting in a $1000 fine.
1420 Wood Road: Neglected required inspections and failed to maintain fire protection systems, including portable fire extinguishers. This building had its last inspection in late December 2023 after an OATH decision.
1589 Unionport Road: Similar failures in conducting required inspections resulted in a $600 fine. The building was re-inspected in November 2023 after a hearing.
2130 E Tremont Ave: Failed to conduct mandatory inspections, leading to a $1000 fine. This building was last inspected in mid-November 2023.

These findings have intensified calls for accountability from Parkchester’s management and board. Hamilton, speaking on behalf of concerned residents, emphasized the duty of these entities to prioritize safety, especially for vulnerable populations such as the elderly, disabled, sick, and children.

In response to the growing outcry, the Parkchester Watch Group has demanded full transparency, requesting records of fire safety inspections for every building and seeking clarity on the contracted company responsible for testing fire safety systems. The expectation is clear: every building must comply promptly with safety standards and remain consistently up to code.

The Parkchester community awaits swift action from management and elected officials to rectify these safety oversights and restore confidence in the complex’s commitment to protecting its residents. Fire safety must be an uncompromising priority, and any negligence in this regard will not be tolerated.

Peter Hamilton’s impassioned plea underscores a critical need for immediate action to ensure the safety and well-being of all who call Parkchester home.

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