Firetrap Complaints At Tragic Qns. Inferno Home

NY Post - November 09, 2009


The city Buildings Department first received a complaint in 1990 alleging the crammed Queens home where a fire killed three residents and critically injured four others early Saturday had been illegally subdivided.

A second complaint was made in 2004 -- but both times, inspectors declared the charge unfounded.

"[The calls] came in, we inspected, and at the time, there was no evidence of an illegal conversion at that home," said Buildings spokesman Tony Sclafani. But he said the department "will conduct a thorough review of the inspection history at this site."

The flames tore through the illegal maze of rooms on 65th Street at 42nd Avenue at about 2:45 a.m. The two-family home had been converted into four single-occupancy rooms and two apartments.

FDNY units were initially sent to the wrong address by a 911 dispatcher. By the time they got to the right block, two men were dead. Another man died later at Elmhurst Hospital.

Cabdriver Abdul Kuddus, 25, a Bangladeshi immigrant who was attending La Guardia Community College and dreamed of studying medicine, was identified as one of the victims by his boss.

Another victim, Sd Jahan, 31, was a restaurant worker who sent his pay to his sisters in Bangladesh, according to a relative.