The Sheepshead Bay “Hell House” earned its moniker Friday morning after a smoky fire forced panicked residents out into the two-day blizzard.
Firefighters responded at about 8:30 a.m. after the blaze broke out on the second floor of the three-story, single-room-occupancy building at 1811 Voorhies Avenue.
It took upwards of 60 smoke-eaters nearly a half-hour to beat the fire down.
No injuries to either firefighters or civilians were reported.
The cause of the blaze, which erupted on the second floor, was still unknown by Friday afternoon, but fire sources listed it as suspicious. Fire marshals were investigating.
FDNY sources said that there was “a good amount” of fire and water damage because it took so long to put the blaze out.
Vladimir Parsol, the owner of the building, could not be reached at press time.
The fire came about three weeks after the building had graffiti scrawled all over it, stating, among other things, “Welcome to Hell” and “Bed Bugs Paradise.”
Following the graffiti debacle, which was painted over, Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo said she called the Fire, Health and Buildings departments to inspect the building.
“The Health Department was just going down there to see if the place was infested with bedbugs,” Scavo said.
A few years ago, Parsol, along with Iliya Honovich, who owns a similar SRO next door at 1809 Voorhies Avenue, asked CB 15 for a zoning variance to turn the properties into condos, but were turned down.
Between the two buildings, there are about 24 rooms that go for about $450 monthly with a shower and bathroom on each floor.
While the city’s Building Department records list the site as allowable for SRO, Scavo noted the building is also zoned to allow for singe-family homes as well.
The owners could probably fit two homes on each site, said Scavo.
“This is what happens when you have too many people living in a building,” she said. “There’s too many people living there. God forbid someone really gets hurt now.”
with Tom Tracy
©2010 Community News Group
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