Purported Boiler Meddling in 106 Rivington Basement Worries Neighbors

Posted on: October 7th, 2015 at 5:00 am by
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The deadly explosion in Brooklyn over the weekend has some Lower East Side residents back home a bit worried, reinforcing fears of a repeat. And with good reason. 106 Rivington Street gave Hell Square a scare of its own last spring.

The tenement building is owned by landlord Sam Wu, whose purported negligence is now further under the microscope.

Meddling with the gas lines is allegedly what caused the 2nd Avenue explosion in March, and neighbors of 106 Rivington continue allegations that the same is happening in that basement. Right around the time of the East Village tragedy, smoke was reported in the cellars of adjacent properties. FDNY immediately responded to the fire, and determined fairly quickly that two faulty boilers and damaged flue were collectively at fault.

Firefighters subsequently shut the gas; Con Edison workers arrived shortly thereafter and reportedly found rotted pieces of the boiler/flue discarded on the floor. The leak was stopped. It’s believed that the lease holders at the time were trying to relocate the gas lines for a new kitchen setup.

Then, two months later, an apparent electrical fire in the same place.

Now tipsters in the vicinity clue us in to more seemingly unauthorized work in the cellar. We are told Mr. Wu and his “low end handyman” have been down there this week and no one knows why. Speculation is the hookup of commercial grade equipment for an eating and drinking establishment that may or may not materialize. It’s a conversion that others have tried, but failed, in recent years.

As it stands, onsite activity continues despite a partial stop-work order and myriad unresolved violations. According to city records, there are more than 20 open DOB violations totaling north of $13,000 and several ECB infractions in exceess of $41,000. Of great concern, however, is the string of violations over the last two decades for failure to file the annual boiler inspection.

Recent visits by Department of Buildings inspectors last month proved uneventful as no access was gained, per DOB public records.

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