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“The state would have real power to force schools to comply with fire safety guidelines and verify inspections if legislation proposed by Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City, passes.
“If a school is unwilling to follow the law, we must put in place specific consequences,” Zebrowski said in a released statement. [Read more…]
86 Highview Road Photo by Michael D’Onofrio The Journal News
“The Tallman Fire Department has come out against a proposed plan that would install a temporary modular unit and build a permanent school for hundreds of female students in a residential neighborhood on Highview Road because of safety concerns.
Fire Chief Christopher Stevens sent letters to Ramapo’s Chief Building Inspector, Tony Mallia, in June and July objecting to a proposed religious school for 250 female students ages 3-16 at 86 Highview Rd. [Read more…]
From The Journal News Opinion Page
Readers were enraged by a story of a fire in Monsey that officials warned could have endangered the lives of firefighters due to an illegal use of the building.
Firefighters trying to tackle flames and smoke shooting from a large Calvert Drive apartment building were blocked from entering the complex by dozens of boxes stored in a warehouse space, according to authorities.
The commercial warehousing in the building’s basement storage area turned out to be illegal. [Read more…]
“Firefighters removed boxes that were blocking an entryway as they battled an apartment building fire at 18 Calvert Drive that is being used as a warehouse July 18, 2016, in Monsey. Firefighters from Hillcrest, Spring Valley, Tallman, Thiells, Suffern and New City responded to assist Monsey.”
You can read Steve Lieberman’s full coverage of the fire, the violations registered and consequences going forward here.
Video coverage can be viewed here.
“Mesivta Ahavas Hatorah has been operating a boys’ religious school in the village since about 2013.
But it has been running without permits because the property at 720 Union Road never received permits, or a certificate of occupancy, to operate as a school — nor did the previous tenants who also had schools there since about 2006, according to village documents. [Read more…]
“The building at 29 Jefferson Ave. has eight to 10 apartments, a history of violations, and lacked sprinklers and smoke detectors, authorities said.”
A four-story building packed with apartments and with reported safety violations caught fire Monday afternoon, leaving one unit in the building uninhabitable, authorities said.
The fire apparently ignited inside a large closet in the finished attic, which had two bedrooms and a bathroom, Hillcrest firefighter Chris Kear said. [Read more…]
“For the second time in two years, two of Rockland’s state legislators have withdrawn a retroactive tax exemption for a Ramapo yeshiva under pressure from firefighters and other advocates for safe buildings.
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern, and Sen. David Carlucci, D-New City, had submitted a proposal to give a tax exemption to Congregation Divrei Chaim for the tax years 2013 and 2014 that would have been worth $30,000. [Read more…]
“Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City, and state Sen. David Carlucci, D-Rockland, both wrote to Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia questioning the circumstances surrounding both sets of inspections – including whether it was right to have Ramapo re-inspect the work of its own tainted inspector.”
“I am asking the state to scrutinize the reports and have independent re-checks or spot checks at the very least,” Zebrowski, D-New City, said Thursday. “Somehow after refusing to comply with the law for months and after battling with the county, the private schools all of sudden got inspections through a different party. Unfortunately, the way in which they were conducted raises serious questions about their adequacy.” [Read more…]
The problem was pretty straightforward. The more than 20 yeshivas identified by the New York State Education Department as lacking the required fire safety inspections were about to be inspected by Rockland County fire safety officials on Wednesday. The County was going to do it because the State asked them to. Previous inspections by the Town of Ramapo were found to be dangerously deficient. So much so that the fire inspector, Adam Peltz, was removed from his position. [Read more…]