Bronx lawmakers introduce fire safety legislation recommendations in response to Twin Parks fire
The Bronx Task Force on Fire Safety announced new federal legislative proposals Friday to improve fire safety and housing quality.
Rep. Ritchie Torres says the goal of the new proposed legislation is to address the root causes of the fire. This starts with mandatory safety standards for the manufacturing of space heaters.
Torres said he will introduce a law to establish safety standards for space heaters that will require that they have an automatic shutoff.
"If the space heater had been shut off automatically at Twin Parks Northwest, the fire would have been prevented. A space heater that shuts off automatically should be the rule, rather than the exception," Torres said.
The proposal will be followed by a push to require federally funded housing developments to have self-closing doors that landlords would be required to inspect. Torres also proposed that federally funded housing units have a heat sensor to monitor the real-time heat inside apartments and increased compliance with housing codes, which is something city officials feel is needed.
"It's about the vast neglect, the decades of neglect that occurs in so many of our homes across our nation, but so close to home right here in the Bronx," said Council Member Pierina Ana Sanchez.
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson applauded the new legislation, but also reminded the victims of this tragedy that immediate help is available, including for those who now must bury their loved ones.
"Every burial and every funeral service will be covered. We have raised a significant amount of money through the mayor's fund and through other channels, and we're going to make sure every funeral is accommodated," Gibson said.
Gibson also reiterated that efforts are underway to find families who lost their homes in the fire a new place to live.