THE BRONX - A landlord is due in court after the Department of Buildings says he demolished a fire-damaged building without proper approval.

After a four-alarm fire at 726 Van Nest Ave. destroyed the building and injured 22 people, the building's owner, Udechi Chukwu, paid a contractor to demolish the building without proper permits. Nearly two months later, the building's rubble remains on the site. The Department of Buildings says not having the right permits puts the public at risk and that it?s holding Chukwu and the contractor accountable.

A stop work order was put in place, but fire marshals say the demolition has made it more difficult for them to investigate what caused the fire.

Chukwu received four violations and is due in court on June 15.

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