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Friday, May 12, 2017

Update On April 29 Island House Fire, Property Manager Says Fire Was Accident, Not Caused By Faulty Wiring - Apartment Owner Had No Insurance, Roosevelt Island Residents Trying To Help

Reported May 1 about a fire at Roosevelt Island's Island House co-op building:

Multiple FDNY vehicles responded to a fire coming from a first floor Island House apartment shortly after midnight on Saturday April 29.
On May 4, Island House Property Management representative Steven Greenbaum sent a letter to building residents about the fire. According to these excerpts from the letter:
... A fire occurred in a ground floor apartment at Island House in the early morning of Saturday, April 29. On behalf of the Island House Tenants Corp and Management, we have expressed our profound sympathy to the Shareholder for the loss that occurred. We are thankful that no one was injured and have been doing everything possible to work through this unfortunate situation with the shareholder....

... The rumor that the fire was started as a result of faulty wiring or the microwave blowing up is unfounded. The apartment has been inspected by the New York City Fire Marshall, an independent licensed electrician and the insurance company adjuster. The collective opinion is that the fire was an accident.

Flooding from overflowing toilets, baths and clogged drains are a regular event in residential buildings. These overflows are immediately addressed and present no residual damage. Any prior overflow played absolutely no role in the fire.

There is no legal requirement for fire extinguishers in residential apartment building hallways and apartment buildings like Island House. There is no legal requirement for Island House to have a sprinkler system in the residential hallways or the apartments. Island House is a fire proof building as evidenced by the fact the the fire in the apartment did not spread but was contained within the apartment....

... All shareholders must have their own cooperative owner's apartment insurance. This is a requirement of the Proprietary Lease. Unfortunately, the Shareholder of the apartment in which the the fire occurred did not have insurance. Management will be working with the building's insurance company to obtain the most favorable settlement possible, however, the building policy does not generally cover losses to the apartment itself, including improvements and betterments, which are the responsibility of the Shareholder, nor does the building policy insure the personal property of the Shareholder or a rental tenant. ...

... If you do not have insurance, please obtain insurance immediately....
The full letter is below.

Roosevelt Island Daily reported on efforts by Roosevelt Island residents to assist the owner of the Island House apartment damaged in the fire including a Go Fund Me page.

The Roosevelt Island twitterverse reported on the fire:
Rebecca Knell added:
... after Midnight, around 1am, multiple fire trucks arrived on island and stopped in front of Westview / Island House. I smelled smoke when I stuck my head out my window.
and shares this video

of response to the fire.

The insurance company for Island House Co-Op is continuing to investigate said building management representative Richelle Neufville.