Fearing that last month’s 9-alarm Roxbury warehouse fire could repeat itself and take a deadly turn, Boston officials have started a “full court press” review of the city’s unsafe properties.
“Not only do we not want members of the community going inside these buildings, but
many of the buildings have structural problems that make them unsafe for firefighters to enter,” said Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser, standing in front of a boarded-up East Boston triple-decker.
The roof of the Webster Street building is in imminent danger of collapse, and floors and joists inside are missing.
Mayor Thomas Menino recently convened a task force of inspectors to review the potentially hazardous buildings in the wake of the Roxbury fire. Inspectors started physical assessments of about six buildings this week.
Officials estimated that there are about 2,000 other vacant properties in the city.
The properties are typically reviewed quarterly, but the severity of the Aug. 21 fire worried city officials and spurred the most recent assessment.
The Webster Street building, which had a $3,500 lien placed on it by the city, is only feet away from occupied homes, which has people in the neighborhood concerned.
“It’s a fire hazard, because look at how close everything is,” said a woman who was visiting her daughter, a Webster Street resident. “I’m really happy they’re doing it."