Although residents at 3555 Bruckner Boulevard may finally be cooking with gas, they aren’t out of the fire just yet.
Back in early October, gas service to all apartments was cut off due to a gas leak discovered in early October, leaving the tenants without gas for nearly three months.
After the restoration of gas to the building, the tenant association, which was formed during the gas crisis, has started addressing other troubling issues within the building.
Vito Signorile, an aide to Councilman Jimmy Vacca, said the councilman has organized a multi agency inspection of the entire building.
According to Ritchie Torres, director of housing service for the councilman,the inspection led to a few frightening discoveries.
“A full tank of propane gas was found in the garage which is extremely dangerous,” Torres said.
Propane gas, when stored indoors,is capable of causing an instant explosion, Torres said.
“This is a scary scenario in a building of 142 households,” Torres said.
Torres said during the inspection, the NYC Department of Building stopped a construction project that did not have a permit.
“While doing the inspection near the boiler, we were able to stop a private construction company from working on the foundation wall,” Torres said.
“They had not obtained a work permit, in real time.”
Another cause for concern, Torres said, is the condition of the garage itself.
“The garage is in horrible condition, there is leakage everywhere, there are cracks in the concrete floor that pose both trip and fall hazards, and there is corrosion in the concrete ceiling,” he said, “all serious violations of either the building or housing code.”
Torres said that although the gas to residents’ apartments has been restored, the pipes that have been left exposed are still a problem.
“This raises the risk of an explosion in the event of a gas leak,” he said.
According to Torres, he returned to 3555 Bruckner the following Monday after the initial inspection to reinspect the garage himself, where he found the propane tank had still not been removed.
“I then called the police to come and have them remove it,” he said.
Torres said the tenant association has been very helpful throughout the process. As many as 80 residents show up to a meeting, depending on what concerns are being brought up.
“The core leadership remains very active,” he said.