Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fire in Controversial Homeless Shelter Sparked by Cigarette

Upper West Side - A fire at a controversial West 95th Street homeless shelter that sent dozens of firefighters racing to the scene was sparked by a cigarette, officials said.

The blaze broke out in a mattress on the fourth floor of 316 W. 95th St., between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive (FDNY box 1240), just before 11 a.m. and was quickly doused by buidling's sprinkler system, the FDNY said.

Residents were evacuated for around 25 minutes from the building, also known as the Candy Hostel, a single-room occupancy (SRO) hotel that courted controversy after the Department of Homeless Services announced it would be moving up to 400 homeless adults there and another building on the block.

The building and neighboring 330 W. 95th Street, also an SRO under the same ownership, was fined more than $45,000 by the Department of Buildings in past years for safety violations, including insufficient sprinklers. Accordingto public records, the building has seven active buildings violations.

According to the FDNY, the fire started in an apartment whose tenant was out, Lt. Marty Meaney said at the scene.


{NewYorkBuffMedia Newsroom - Photo by: DNAinfo/ Emily Frost}


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