Landlord Gets Six Months for Firetrap Deaths
The first sentence was recently imposed in New York County under the law that holds a landlord responsible for deaths in tenements where the fireproofing provisions of the multiple dwelling law have not been complied with.
Four persons were killed in a fire January 5, 1939, in one of the old-law tenements controlled by Beacon Arms Incorporated. An investigation, after the fire, revealed that the tenement had no proper rear fire escape, no fire retarding material in the halls, no equipment to make doors close automatically, no proper bulkheading of the roof, and improper glass apartment doors. The landlord might have eliminated these violations of the multiple dwelling law by spending about $1,100; he had failed to do so and was indicted on manslaughter charges under the criminal negligence provisions of the statute.