Owner of Garfield building that caught fire cited for violations

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The owner of the Garfield apartment building that caught fire Monday morning is being cited for three violations, an official in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire said Tuesday.

The doors had been removed in the stairwell of the J.J. Land Company apartment at 305 N. Negley Ave -- had they been in place, the fire would have likely not spread the way it did, forcing about two dozen rescues and sending four to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation, the official said.

Residents would have had a better chance of getting out after the blaze, the official said, and all of the heat and smoke wouldn't have gone upstairs. Authorities said the blaze started in the stairwell.

There was also debris in the hallway that would have been an obstruction, and the emergency lighting in the hallways didn't work, the official said.

The company faces roughly $1,000 fines for each offense, including court costs.

About ten people were treated on scene. The building incurred about $150,000 in damage, and about $75,000 in contents were damaged. It remains under investigation.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com


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