A Douglaston home under renovation, ravaged last week by a three-alarm fire, had incurred a laundry list of complaints and racked up thousands of dollars in violations, according to city agencies.
The 39-12 Douglaston Parkway dwelling received 44 complaints since March 2008 from callers saying the ongoing construction work being done at the site exceeded the scope of the approved permit, according to the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB).
All complaints were listed as closed, according to the agency, but homeowner David Wei Huang was also pinned for two violations from the DOB and 17 from the Environmental Control Board (ECB). Of those violations, nine were still outstanding, according to the DOB, and were related to the ongoing construction.
Huang was issued a $2,500 fine when construction at the site was found not to be in compliance with approved plans and another $1,200 for failing to safeguard the public and his property. There were other violations for working with an expired permit, the DOB said.
Permits were first issued by the DOB to extend the building horizontally in September 2009, the department said.
The unoccupied home went up in flames last Tuesday, August 14 at around 7:30 p.m., the FDNY said. No injuries were reported.
Bystander Thomas Perrino said he heard three explosions from inside the house, which he said sounded like gas tanks exploding.
The entire building was already swallowed in flames before more than 100 firefighters from 33 units extinguished the blaze by around 9:30 p.m. The infrastructure of the home’s second floor had completely caved in at that point, said the FDNY.
The fire was deemed accidental, according to a spokesperson for the fire department, and was caused by construction work being done with pipes and torches.
Huang could not be reached for comment.
— With additional reporting by Terence M. Cullen