Monday, November 14, 2005

Electrical wires from portable heater caused Monsey house fire

An electrical wire powering a portable space heater set off the Gwen Lane house fire that left three families homeless, fire officials said today.

The fire shortly before 10:50 p.m. Sunday started in a third-floor bedroom attached to a multiple-family house at 1 Gwen Lane, located off West Central Avenue.

The portable radiator provided heat to the bedroom and the electrical cord probably became overburdened and started the fire, Monsey Fire Chief Andrew Schlissel said today.

"The electrical fire from the portable radiator that feeds into the outlet was the cause," he said. "The outlet burned out and the electrical circuit breaker panel also burned out."

The fire destroyed the house. The homeowner went to live with family, while his tenants found temporary homes with other families, Schlissel said.

About 70 volunteer firefighters responded to the blaze from Monsey, Spring Valley, South Spring Valley and Tallman.

The owner, Nelson Fisch, will have to either knock down the house and rebuild or try and repair the damaged building, Ramapo Building Inspector Brian Brophy said today. The Building Department will revoke the house's certificate of occupancy because the building us unliveable, Brophy said.

"We will give him some time to decide what he wants to do," Brophy said. "He will either have to knock the it down and start all over or rebuild it."

Brophy said the house didn't have any building violations and multiple-family homes like the one at 1 Gwen Lane are permitted under the town zoning code. Ramapo Fire Inspector Tom Buckley responded to the fire on Sunday night.

"The property had been well maintained," Brophy said. "We've had no problems with the house and there has been no history of violations. I feel sorry for the guy. This is a tough time of year to be out of a house."

Brophy and Schlissel said the predominately Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish community rallied behind the three families.

"One of the good things about Monsey is that ... everybody comes out and helps the people in need," Brophy said.


One of the good things about Monsey is that ... everybody comes out and helps the people in need," Brophy said.
This is a kiddish hashem, compare that with satmar


How much did they pay Brophy?


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