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Cause of Blaze That Destroyed Inwood Building Still Unknown

By Farran Powell | August 22, 2012 7:47am

INWOOD — The clean-up at an apartment building that caught fire in Inwood over the weekend continued Wednesday as investigators tried to find the fire's cause.

The blaze started on the ground floor of the building at 639 W. 207 Street, near Cooper Street, tearing through the structure on Saturday and leaving 13 families homeless.

"It was my bedroom that caught fire," said Alba Chazulle, 28, who watched the flames spread across her bedroom wall and consume her flat screen television.

Chazulle's family, along with all other residents, was ordered to vacate the premises by the city's Department of Buildings. Chazulle is staying with a family member in Chelsea with her 6-year-daughter while her brother and her grandfather stay in accommodation provided by the American Red Cross.

"My apartment is gone. They'll have to demolish it," she said.

The NYC Department of Buildings posted vacate notices on several entrances to the fire ravaged building. The building's owner, Pinnacle Management, chained the main door.

"The portion where the fire occurred and in the adjacent apartment is where there is significant damage, and there is smoke damage elsewhere," said Pinnacle Management's attorney Ken Fischer.

Contents and doors removed from the 207th Street Building several days after the Aug. 18 fire.
Contents and doors removed from the 207th Street Building several days after the Aug. 18 fire.
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The company's insurance adjusters are still appraising the overall damages,  he said.

"We are working with the insurance company, the buildings department and others to assess what work needs to be done on the necessary repairs as soon as possible," said Fisher.

"It's an unfortunate circumstance."

The property management company is working with the displaced tenants on rental arrangements.