BENSONHURST — Two landlords were hit with manslaughter charges Thursday in connection to a 2010 apartment fire that killed five people.
Vasilios Gerazounis, 68, and Argyrios Gerazounis, 37, who are father and son, did not set the fatal blaze, but are accused of illegally subdividing apartmetns at 2033 86th St. in a way that prevented tenants from escaping in case of a fire.
“Although the arsonist is responsible for setting the fire, he does not shoulder the blame alone,” Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes said in a statement. "The landlords share in the responsibility for each of the five deaths and the injuries. They owned, maintained, and made money from a building with illegal subdivisions that blocked tenants’ ability to escape in a deadly fire.”
Another man, Daniel Ignacio, is facing murder charges for allegedly setting the fire on Jan. 30, 2010.
The second and third floors of the building were originally designated as one-familiy units, but the FDNY discovered after the fire that both floors had been subdivided, with two families living on the second floor, and four on the third floor.
Various city agencies uncovered building code violations, including new walls being erected or doors being sheetrocked over, to create the separate apartments for which the Gerazounises charged between $150 and $200 a month.
The blaze killed five Guatemalan immigrants — one woman and four men.
“None died in bed,” prosecutor Lawrence Oh said during the Gerazounises arraignment in State Supreme Court, the New York Times reported.
They died awake, trying to escape, he added.
Both men pleaded not guilty and were being held on $200,000 bail, the Times reported.
Both men face up to 25 years in prison. Argyrios Gerazounis also faces up to seven years for perjury after allegedly claiming he didn't know the apartments were subdivided.