Bronx couple displaced for over a month after apartment building fire
A Bronx couple says a fire in their apartment building last month has left them homeless.
Norman McBride and Raquel Lewis say local agencies and the landlord have been no help.
They say the fire started in the apartment above them in July on Manor Avenue, but that they never thought they’d still be homeless over a month later.
They say the water used to put the fire out never properly dried. So, they say when they returned to their home, they found it covered with mold and a chain on the gate.
The couple says they can’t enter through the front door of their apartment because it was boarded up after the fire.
Normally, they say they have to enter their basement apartment through the back door and hope that it’s unlocked.
News 12 took a look inside the apartment. The landlord, Yong Feng Yang, appears to have made little progress on removing the mold or repairing the damage from the fire.
There’s also no electricity or gas. According to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s website, tenants can receive help relocating when there is a fire or when the Department of Buildings issued a vacate order, which states that a building is unsafe to live in.
The couple says it’s been over a month since the fire and no one has helped them. As for the landlord, the couple says she has abandoned the property.
HPD could not give News 12 a statement, but department sources said that an inspector would be taking another look at the building this week.
The DOB told News 12 that the tenants should reach out to HPD regarding emergency relocation services, but said in a statement: “DOB Vacate Orders are only issued as a last resort, when conditions at a building are so dangerous that they pose an immediate life safety threat to the occupants.”