Allston home where fire killed BU student missed inspections
City inspectors said a building in Allston where a Boston University student died in a fire Sunday hadn’t been inspected in more than 20 years.
Boston’s Inspectional Services Department said Monday that it was investigating several possible code violations at 87 Linden St.“We have a number of concerns as you might imagine, first and foremost the number of people living in the building… whether or not that was appropriate,” ISD commissioner Bryan Glascock told the Boston Globe.
A Boston ordinance says only four undergraduates who aren’t related to each other may live in the same place. School officials said nine of the home’s 19 residents were BU students.
Among them was 22-year-old Binland Lee, a marine biology major from Brooklyn, N.Y. Fire officials said Lee was trapped in her third-floor bedroom by the flames, which started around 6:30 Sunday morning.
One focus of the investigation will be whether residents had adequate escape routes from the three-story, nine bedroom building.
Officials said the home was last inspected in 1992 when it was converted from a single-family residence.
Landlords are supposed to have their properties inspected every time there are new tenants, but Glascock said there’s no record showing that the building’s owner, Anna Belokurova, requested the inspections.
Glascock said Belokurova owns two other rental properties, including a building on Reedsdale St. that was cited for having an illegal basement unit. City records showed Belokurova has received dozens of citations for improper trash disposal on Linden St.
In January 2012, a fire across the street at 84 Linden injured seven BU students, one of them critically. Increased inspections in the neighborhood found dozens of violations, but officials were unable to gain entry to the site of Sunday’s fire.
Starting next month, a new city ordinance will require Boston landlords to register all rental units with the city. Inspectors plan to examine each apartment at least once every five years, starting in 2014.
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