2017-06-28 / Front Page

Addabbo Remarks On Fire In Glendale

Over the weekend, 11 New York City Firefighters were injured after responding to a four-alarm fire at 72-10 Myrtle Avenue in Glendale, early Sunday morning, after heavy fire engulfed the roof of a mixed occupancy dwelling and the extension into the cockloft.

"Another fire has ravaged the community, reminding us of just how hazardous cocklofts can be,” Addabbo said. “This is why I have continued to put pressure on Albany to adopt legislation, effectively providing economic incentives for residents to remove these dangerous structures from their homes.”

Addabbo first introduced the bill (S.3065), following a five-alarm fire in 2013, which damaged seven homes in Middle Village, injured 11 firefighters, and may have been exacerbated by the existence of cocklofts in the structures. Since its introduction, cockloft-related fires have occurred in Woodhaven and Ozone Park. The bill recently passed the State Senate and was under review by the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

“Similar circumstances, including the fire on June 24, have prompted me to speak out about the hazardous conditions found throughout older houses in the district,” Addabbo added. “Over the years, there has been growing evidence that cocklofts help intensify the spread of hard-to-control flames, putting both residents and firefighters at extreme risk.”

Connected row houses are no longer designed and built with cocklofts, which are generally large areas of concealed air space, between the top floor and ceiling, and the underside of the roof deck on homes. Under the proposed legislation, residents whose homes contain cocklofts would be able to apply for a 30 percent tax credit to repair them. Refundable credits of up to $500 would aid eligible homeowners in affording the cost of making the improvements and eliminating the fire hazards.

There have been several serious fires since 2013, which have occurred in structures containing cocklofts, including another in April of this year that destroyed nearly half of the 112 apartments in a high-rise in Elmhurst.

“Thankfully, this time, no one was killed in the fire,” Addabbo said. “Now is the time to do something that addresses this potential threat to residents and emergency personnel. It is my hope, that by passing this legislation, we will be able to incentivize homeowners, who might otherwise be unable to afford the improvements, to remove the safety hazards from their homes, which could possibly save lives and prevent further tragedy.”

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