Rockland pressures Evergreen Court to clean up 2021 fire site

Edward Markunas, Rockland County's director of the Office of Buildings and Codes, says the building located at 65 Lafayette St. and 138 Lake St. in Spring Valley has multiple fire prevention and building code violations.

News 12 Staff

Apr 16, 2024, 12:27 AM

Updated 35 days ago

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Three years after a fire broke out at Evergreen Court and killed a resident and Spring Valley firefighter Jared Lloyd, Rockland County officials filed a verified petition on Friday against the building's owners to ask them to clean the Spring Valley site up.
"It's just really a mess," Edward Markunas, Rockland County's director of the Office of Buildings and Codes, said.
Markunas believes the company has had plenty of time to get the site together since the fire broke out in 2021.
"What were looking for in this lawsuit is...to have them [sic] unsafe structures either razed or brought into code compliance," Markunas said.
The director said they're also asking the owners to clean the premise up in general.
He said the site, which is located at 65 Lafayette St. and 138 Lake St. in Spring Valley, is riddled with fire prevention and building code violations.
"There's openings throughout the building which causes pests to come into the building, vagrants to live in the building," Markunas said. "There's garbage, and trash, and debris throughout the entire site."
The director said all the trash and debris is both an eyesore and a sad reminder of the fire for residents who live near the site. "Nevermind the harborage of rodents and vagrants, inoperable utilities, there are no utilities, it's not properly secured," Markunas said.
Meanwhile, Lee Vartan, a lawyer connected to the owners of Evergreen Court issued a statement to News 12 saying, "There is ongoing litigation related to the tragic fire, and evergreen court is awaiting counsel’s advice as to whether the site must continue to be preserved in light of that litigation."
Although, Markunas said they haven't from the owners yet, he said they're determined to seek some kind of change.
"That's why we're seeking the order," Markunas said. "We're gonna have the judge make the order to seek compliance."


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