Vacant home on Gifford Avenue experiences collapse

Vacant home on Gifford Avenue experiences collapse
Construction workers from JRS Construction & Expediting Services, Inc. repair the west side of the house.
Community News Group / Steven Goodstein

A frame structure that has been in dire straights for almost a half dozen years is finally getting the attention it needs.

The two-story, multi-family home located at 2717 Gifford Avenue, which was damaged by a massive fire in 2010 which resulted in a recent partial collapse, is currently in the process of being renovated.

The house, which has been vacant since the fire occurred back in November 2010, experienced the collapse on Wednesday, December 7.

The damage was inflicted on the western side of the house, which left gaping holes in its walls and roof, further compromising the property’s integrity and potentially put neighboring residents at risk.

Following the collapse, the FDNY requested an inspection of the property.

A permit was also issued for the property on Monday, December 12, which will result in structural repairs to the house’s floors, ceilings and some of its walls, which were destroyed in the fire. Other walls, along with doors, windows, stairs and plumbing fixtures, will be replaced, according to the NYC Building Information System.

The house is currently being repaired by Queens-based JRS Construction & Expediting Services, Inc. On-site construction workers did not wish to comment, but did say that the repairs would be completed within the next month or so.

The estimated total cost of these repairs will run just over $70,000.

The 3,000-plus square foot building, which was built in 1910 and last sold for $342,000 in July 2003, was recently purchased in early December by Matthew Ahdoot, according to the BIS.

“That home has been in disrepair for years,” said Mary Jane Musano of the Waterbury Lasalle Community Association, who passes by the it often. “Sometimes it’s boarded up – sometimes it’s open – but it has certainly been abandoned for a while.”

“It’s definitely a giant eyesore for this block,” said Kevin Heckman, a local resident who filed the home as a zombie property with the NYS Department of Financial Services. “When you’re passing through (Gifford Avenue), it’s hard to miss it.”

“The noise of the construction isn’t the most pleasant, but hopefully the process of fixing up this home is moving forward,” said another nearby resident, who wished to remain anonymous. “Now we (the residents) won’t have to worry about the safety hazard.”

The fire in 2010 claimed the life of 60-year old Johanna Parliament, who was trapped in her basement apartment during the morning blaze. The inferno also injured two firefighters and three civilians.

The house, which was in the process of foreclosure at the time, was left open for a few weeks following the fire. Its windows and doors were eventually boarded up by financial service company GMAC ResCap, the mortgage holder, to prevent unlawful intruders.

As of press time, JRS Construction & Expediting Services, Inc. did not return a request for comment.

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