Rockland officials: Spring Valley apartment complex violated building codes before fire

The documents detail four violations issued against the complex owner by the building department in December.

Ben Nandy

Feb 29, 2024, 11:16 PM

Updated 50 days ago

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There were apparently problems at the Surrey Carlton Apartments on Ewing Avenue well before Sunday's fire in Building #4 that displaced more than 50 residents, according to documents provided by Rockland County officials.
The documents detail four violations issued against the complex owner by the building department in December.
Two violations were for doing construction and electrical work without a permit, and two were for disobeying 'Stop Work' orders on those projects in Buildings #3 and #4.
"Shoot. I live right down there. Oh God," said neighbor Alisha Outerbridge upon learning of the violations. "I hope everything goes well. I hope they really get into this and really do what they gotta do for the people who live here."
Efforts to reach the complex owner, the New York-based Surrey Carlton Housing Development Fund, for comment were unsuccessful Thursday.
"I'm not shocked at all," complex resident Josh Jones said of the violations.
Jones recalled another fire in mid-December.
Just after that fire, came the four violations which carried fines totaling $4,000.
A county building inspector noted at the time the complex's fire alarm system did not automatically alert county dispatch as it should.
"There's something very wrong with that," Jones said. "This place has been catching on fire – This is twice or three times in a row now. You never know if these people are going to have a chance to come back to their homes."
The Salvation Army has been putting up many of the displaced residents in hotels.
County officials said they are trying to expedite permits for the repair work so residents whose units were not damaged can move in sooner.
The Rockland County fire coordinator said investigators are still trying to determine the exact cause of Sunday morning's fire in Building #4.


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