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#147830 - 02/26/03 10:45 AM Janitor duct-tapes over faulty socket. Apartment catches fire!!
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
This is a story from todays (Feb 26, 2003) New York Daily News.

A "maintenance man" for a city-owned housing project covered a faulty socket in a bedrom after it flared up.

He promised the tenant he'd return the next day to continue "repairs." The same socketlater caught on fire.

Fortunately, the mother and her two children escaped without personal injury.

I hope the janitor thinks VERY HARD about what he did.

Here is the story from the Daily News:

Family flees duct tape disaster
Wednesday, February 26th, 2003

When flames shot out of an electric socket in Elizabeth Brito's city-owned apartment Sunday, a Housing Authority repairman covered up the outlet with duct tape, she said.
Yesterday morning, the Brooklyn mom and two of her children had to run for their lives when a fire apparently erupted in the same bedroom outlet.

"The walls, the curtains, the ceiling, the paint - it was all on fire," Brito, 24, said inside her charred home in Borinquen Plaza, a Housing Authority project on Humboldt St. in East Williamsburg.

"Look, the baby's bottle," wailed Brito, her face streaked with soot and tears as she pointed to burned belongings. "My baby's shoe."

Fire officials said they were investigating the cause of the blaze.

Brito said she noticed the electrical problem Sunday afternoon, when the socket began to spew flames.

Called hotline

She switched off the power and called the Housing Authority's emergency repair number.

A worker came, taped up the socket and left, promising that more extensive repairs would be completed the next day, Brito said.

On Monday, Brito said, she called for a repair crew but got no response.

She returned from her overnight shift at a food-packing plant early yesterday and quickly fell asleep next to her 20-month-old daughter, Gissel. Her son, Justin, 5, was asleep in another bedroom.

Brito woke up around 9 a.m. to find flames engulfing her bedroom. The family fled the burning apartment and escaped unharmed.

Firefighters quickly doused the blaze. One firefighter was taken to Weill Cornell Medical Center and treated for slight burns, officials said.

Tenants said shoddy electrical repair work is nothing new at the 65-unit housing project.

They charged the building has been plagued by wiring problems and said workers routinely paper over problems instead of completing more extensive repairs.

Housing Authority officials refused to comment about the fire or the charges.

Brito's neighbor Reginald Greene said he has complained countless times about electrical hazards in the building.

"It's only a matter of time before it happens again," said his wife, Sharon, 41, a mother of four. "I only pray it's not me."

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#147831 - 02/26/03 12:45 PM Re: Janitor duct-tapes over faulty socket. Apartment catches fire!!
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Brito woke up around 9 a.m. to find flames engulfing her bedroom.

It is interesting that this implies lack of or inadequate somke detection in a 65 unit apt.

#147832 - 02/26/03 08:24 PM Re: Janitor duct-tapes over faulty socket. Apartment catches fire!!
ThinkGood Offline

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1084
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
In general, smoke from a housefire will lull an individual who is sleeping into a deeper sleep--until it is, Heaven forbid, too late.

This family is lucky to be alive.

She switched off the power and called...

The power should have remained off until a qualified person gave the OK once repairs were made!

The NYC Department of Buildings shows 24 active violations for this city-owned location. Does NYC fine itself?! Sad, indeed.


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