Fire Rips Through Troubled East Harlem Apartment Building
EAST HARLEM — A raging fire tore through a problem-plagued apartment building Thursday morning, the latest major issue at the address.
Nine people were hurt in the blaze at 29 E. 104th St., which broke out about 1:25 a.m. and was not brought under control until an hour later, FDNY officials said.
Rosa Nagovich, 49, who lives on the fifth floor of the building with her 10-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter, described a chaotic scene during the early-morning blaze.
“We went to open the door and we couldn’t even get out,” Nagovich said. “The smoke and debris were too strong.
“We closed the door and we went to the fire escape, but couldn’t go down because the flames were shooting up. They were like a couple feet high.”
Nagovich said firefighters eventually reached her and her kids, both of whom suffer from asthma, and were able to pull them to safety.
“They’re both traumatized,” she said. “The paramedics treated them and did a good job.”
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Last August, the building was evacuated after a 34-year-old resident fell through the stairs. Firefighters and police had to rescue the injured tenant, and the Department of Buildings later determined the stairway’s instability made the building unsafe.
A stop-work order is currently in effect on the property, which has four open DOB complaints dating back to last October, according to the DOB website.
The property owner, San Francisco Associates Limited, was fined $1,000 for failure to maintain the building following the August incident.
San Francisco Associates could not be reached for comment.