By Andrew J. Pisani
This week we faced another tragic event with the explosion and destructive fire in the East Village. As the investigation unearths the facts, we’ve learned that everything points to illegal work performed without required permits, and by unlicensed professionals.
A check of DOB records confirms that there were no permits issued for any gas work at the site. Yet according to tenants of the building, work was being done. Ultimately, this work caused the explosion – leveling the building, injuring scores of people and first responders, and taking the lives of two young men.
Building Owners need to appreciate the critical role the DOB plays in the safety of our City. The DOB reviews plans, rations out permits and ensures that the people who complete work are trained, certified, and ultimately responsible.
Here’s the bottom line — proposed work that follows the rules gets approved. There are no shortcuts. There are no workarounds. If you think you are saving a few dollars by proceeding on your own, think again. If you think no one will know, and it doesn’t matter, think again.
Building owners that knowingly allow illegal work to be performed on their building should take heed and stop all illegal work immediately. Owners that have no knowledge of illegal work should be diligent in policing their buildings on a regular bases and check on their tenants. Known or unknown, owners are responsible for work on their property.
This loss of lives and property could have possibly been avoided if this work was being performed legally and by licensed processionals. As the Mayor has announced he will pursue criminal charges of those found guilty of this senseless tragedy.
Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen again.