NYC Landlord Cited at Home Where Fire Killed 1

Fire department says no working fire detectors found in illegally converted boarding house

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    NEW YORK - APRIL 27: A New York City firefighter, his face covered in soot, relaxes after battling a three-alarm fire on April 27, 2009 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. No injuries were reported in the early evening house fire on Franklin Street that took dozens of firefighters to bring under control. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    New York City officials have fined the owner of a Staten Island house where a woman died in a fire, saying the property and been illegally converted into a rooming house.

    The Buildings Department says the attic in the house where 40-year-old Dorothy Adonolfi perished Friday did not have the appropriate permits. Additionally, the second floor of the home was illegally divided into single-room-occupancy units, officials said.

    The department issued three violations with maximum penalties of between $10,000 and $25,000 each.

    The early morning fire was started by an electrical heater. The Fire Department said there were no working fire detectors in the building.

    The violations and cause of the fire were first reported by the Staten Island Advance.

    Building owner Rubenia Cortez told The Associated Press on Saturday that although the house is under her name, her sister Ana Santiago is the actual owner.

    Cortez said she purchased the house on behalf of her sister because her sister didn't have good credit.

    "I understand somebody died over there," Cortez said. "I feel sorry for that but I don't know what I can do."

    There was no number listed for Santiago, who lived at the house.