The family multimillion-dollar real estate empire which owns the apartment block involved in New York’s worst fire in 25 years – which left 12 dead including five children – has had hundreds of complaints and violations logged in its buildings, including issues related to fire safety and electrical work, DailyMail.com can reveal.
The five-story, residential Bronx building, 2363 Prospect Avenue, was gutted by fire just before 7pm on Thursday. Officials said a three-year-old boy playing with a gas stove in a first-floor apartment started the blaze.
According to New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, the child’s mother grabbed him and a sibling to escape the home but left the door open. The fire commissioner said flames quickly spread up to the fifth floor because ‘the stairway acted like a chimney’.
Appalling record: 185 McClellan had 66 violations recorded by the Department of Buildings
Matching numbers: 281 Edgecombe Avenue in Harlem – the only non-Bronx property – and 1818 Anthony Avenue were both recorded by the Department of Buildings with 35 violations
Another record of shame: 1181 Sheridan Avenue in the Bronx
More cause for concern: 388 Tiebout Avenue and 2025 Walton Avenue in the Bronx
The five-story, residential Bronx building, 2363 Prospect Avenue, was gutted by fire just before 7pm on Thursday. The fatal blaze has been called New York’s worst fire in 25 years – killing 12 and injuring 15
The New York City Fire Department released the one minute video clip on Twitter Friday afternoon showing the damage inside 2363 Prospect Avenue.
Nigro said the building was fitted with smoke alarms but it was unclear if all were working.
One apartment on the first floor reported defective carbon monoxide and smoke detectors months ago to a city housing agency, CNN reported.
The Prospect Avenue address is owned by 84-year-old real estate developer Howard Akloff’s D&A Equities and operated by his company Annal Management, located on Castle Hill Avenue the Bronx.
The address is also listed for several other companies linked to real estate including 281 Edgecombe Partners LLC; 1915 Morris Avenue Corp; 215 East 197 Street LLC and Anthony Equities Ltd.
According to public business filings, Annal Management currently has 18 other properties under its control across the borough.
DailyMail.com can reveal in the past decade, that the majority of addresses have had dozens of complaints and violations including fire safety, structural and elevator issues.
According to NY Department of Buildings records, one property, 185 McClellan Street, had 45 complaints from residents, the majority of which relate to elevators being out of service for several weeks and continually breaking down.
In December 2013, one complaint reads: ‘Door leading to fire escape has a deadbolt that is locke[d].’ This complaint was later resolved.
Other complaints related to illegal conversions of apartments and dangerous construction conditions.
Another property, 1181 Sheridan Avenue, had 16 complaints between 2005 and 2016, a number of which were related to out-of-service elevators and falling debris.
In September 2015, a resident complained about exposed wires from a large electrical box placed on a thin wall and claimed the work had been done by an unlicensed contractor.
At 2390 Tiebout Avenue, there have been 20 complaints
Another property, 1181 Sheridan Avenue, had 16 complaints between 2005 and 2016
At 1860 Morris Avenue, DOB issued a fine of $1,500 to Annal Management this year due to a failure to correct ‘an immediately hazardous’ issue with an elevator
Howward Alkoff is listed as the chairman and president of Annal Management. They 84-year-old lives in Pound Ridge, Westchester County
The building also had 45 Department of Building violations and 25 Environmental Control Board [ECB] violations.
In one ECB violation from 2015, Annal Management’s violation was described as a ‘Class 1’ meaning ‘immediately hazardous’. A fine of $4,800 was imposed by the ECB.
It was described as a ‘failure to ground electrical systems’ and was later remedied.
At 2025 Walton Avenue in the Bronx, residents have registered complaints about the elevators for almost 20 years.
One complaint, from March 2012, reads: ‘The only elevator in a 6-story building has been O/O/O for a week. There are senior[s] in building, chronic problem.’
Each complaint is later listed as resolved. The building also has a log of 28 violations.
At 2390 Tiebout Avenue, there have been 20 complaints – including in May 2016 when one report logged: ‘Not a construction. Caller just wanted to report that she walked by the building and one window from 4th floor fall [sic] down in front of her.’
Other complaints, over a number of years, state that the elevators break down continually for weeks at a time and note that there are disabled tenants in the building.
Victims: A relative at the scene identified two- and seven-year-old sisters, Kylie (left) and Kelesha (right) Francis, as victims of the fire
The girls’ mother, 37-year-old Karen Francis (left) also died in the historic blaze on Thursday night. Shawntay Young (right), aged 19, has also been identified as a victim in the fire
Tragic: Officials say the youngest victim in the fire that destroyed the apartment building near the Bronx Zoo is an eight-month-old Amora Serenity Vidal (center) who died in a bathtub being held by her 56-year-old grandmother, Maria Batiz (left), who also perished in the blaze. The child’s mother, Christine (right), is distraught by the tragedy
At 1860 Morris Avenue, DOB issued a fine of $1,500 to Annal Management this year due to a failure to correct ‘an immediately hazardous’ issue with an elevator.
New York Department of Buildings inspectors were at the scene of the fire investigating the building’s structural stability today.
The Department of Buildings said that prior to the fire, the building had no open complaints and no open DOB-issued violations.
Howard Alkoff is listed as the chairman and president of Annal Management Company and Dora Genao, a relative, as the owner and manager. The company was started in 1967 by Alkoff, who lives in Pound Ridge, Westchester County.
DailyMail.com made multiple attempts to contact Annal Management at their Bronx headquarters but an employee who answered the phone, but would not provide her name, was unable to comment or provide further contact information. DailyMail.com requested an email address but this was not available and the company website is currently down.
SHAME OF THE BRONX SLUMLORD
|ADDRESS||COMPLAINTS||DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS VIOLATIONS||ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD VIOLATIONS|
|185 McClellan St||45||66||18|
|1181 Sheridan Ave||16||46||25|
|2025 Walton St||35||22||6|
|181 Anthony Ave||13||35||5|
|80 McClellan Street||14||40||10|
|1860 Morris Ave||12||26||16|
|2180 Anthony Avenue||16||16||7|
|214 E178th St||3||18||3|
|1915 Morris Ave||2||22||8|
|2357 Prospect Ave||5||3||2|
|1917 Morris Ave||1||13||0|
|2363 Prospect Ave||5||4||0|
|651 Crescent Ave||0||2||0|
|2256 Walton Ave||3||2||1|
|224 E164th St||1||0||0|
|281 Edgecombe Ave*||25||35||16|
* In Harlem, Manhattan