Members of Congress, Twin Parks residents meet to discuss prevention of structure fires
The House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing at the Bronx Community College Wednesday to discuss how to prevent structure fires in the aftermath of the Twin Parks tragedy.
It has been three months since the tragic fire at Twin Parks that took the lives of 17 Bronx residents.
The goal of the meeting was to better understand how New Yorkers who live in government-funded housing are vulnerable to fires, as well as discuss what policies need to change to prevent similar fires from happening again. The committee also discussed issues that need to be addressed in housing developments.
Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres stressed the importance of putting in preventive measures at these buildings, especially in the borough.
"The Bronx is ground zero for the affordable housing crisis. The tragedy at Twin Parks should be a reminder that affordable housing is not an abstraction. It's a matter of life and death," Torres said.
According to the FDNY, a malfunctioning space heater caused the fire and malfunctioning self-closing doors were deemed a key factor in the loss of life and significant building damage.
Policies like requiring space heaters to be manufactured to shut off on their own, which is one part of the Safer Heat Act, a bill from Torres, have been proposed.
Since that day, other legislation has been brought forth that would also withhold money from landlords who don’t follow fire codes.