Bronx lawmakers pledge path forward following fatal Bronx high-rise fire

Torres highlighted issues that he says need to be addressed in the aftermath of Sunday’s fatal fire at the Twin Parks apartments–issues that he says are widespread across many housing complexes in the Bronx, including lack of sprinklers, smoke alarms and self-closing doors.

News 12 Staff

Jan 11, 2022, 10:13 PM

Updated 830 days ago

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Bronx elected officials are coming together to provide what they hope will be a pathway to real change following the fatal Bronx high-rise fire.
 "When it comes to fire safety. New York is a tale of two cities,” said Rep. Ritchie Torres. 
Torres highlighted issues that he says need to be addressed in the aftermath of Sunday’s fatal fire at the Twin Parks apartments–issues that he says are widespread across many housing complexes in the Bronx, including lack of sprinklers, smoke alarms and self-closing doors. 
"When we allow affordable housing to be chronically underfunded - we are putting the lives of tenants at risk,” said Torres. 
Authorities say the space heater that sparked the fire was running for days. Torres says that’s a sign of a bigger issue. "There are landlords that deny their tenants heat and hot water and even when landlords are providing the legal minimum, what the law requires often falls short of the level of heat that tenants need to remain warm in their apartments,” said  Torres. 
Efforts are underway to get the tenants back into their building. Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson says that people on the top three floors have been allowed to return to their apartments–with the next three floors hopefully cleared soon. 
"Even if your apartment is deemed safe and you can return physically if you choose and you want to relocate, we are going to honor that, no question,” said Gibson. 
"If you are displaced for the long run, especially the tenants living on the third floor, we will guarantee you replacement housing,” said Torres. 
He says that could include a dozen apartments on the third floor, which he says will take months to restore.


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