[Hpn] Abandoned Buildings To Be Cataloged In Boston MA USA fw

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sat, 02 Sep 2000 14:27:15 -0700 (PDT)

Has anyone compiled lists of abandoned buildings in your community?

To what ends could activists - or officials - use lists of abandoned

FWD  [Boston MA USA] WCVB Local News - updated 1:13 PM ET Sep 1
     Tuesday August 22 09:15 PM EDT


 In an attempt to avoid tragedies such as last December's Worcester fire,
the Boston Fire Department is taking action, by identifying all abandoned
buildings in the city and marking them so that anyone who enters is aware
of possible fire hazards.

 NewsCenter 5's Jorge Quiroga reports that abandoned buildings are
dangerous places for firefighters. During the past 10 years, more
firefighters have been killed or injured in fires in vacant buildings than
in any other kind of fire.

 "They are magnets for trouble, illegal activities, drugs and prostitution,
squatters, illegal businesses, illegal auto body shops, repair facilities,"
Kevin Joyce of the Inspectional Services Department said.

 In the past eight months, Boston identified more than 600 vacant
buildings. Inspectors are now starting to survey the dangers that lie
within the boarded and secured buildings.

 Eventually, all the perils will be catalogued in a citywide data bank,
quickly accessed in the event of a fire.

 "It gives us a heightened awareness, so that when we come on site, we can
make an educated determination of how we are going to act," Boston Fire
Chief Paul Burke said.

 In Worcester last December, the death of six firefighters in a blazing
vacant warehouse was a wake-up call to fire departments nationwide. That
tragedy was blamed on a homeless couple who had made the building their

 In an abandoned building in South Boston, there is also ample evidence --
amid the cracked walls, broken skylight, rubbish and combustibles -- that
homeless people have been living in these conditions.

 "The point of it all is to give the firefighters the best, most accurate,
up-to-date information as to what they might find in any one of these
buildings when they are called here," Joyce said.

 City inspectors said that they're also filing lawsuits against absentee
landlords to force them to bring their properties up to code.


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