Housing Violations Cited at Fire-Destroyed Dwelling
The owner of a Park Avenue home destroyed by a fire in November is due in court this month for alleged housing violations, according to court and health department officials.
The owner of a Park Avenue home that was destroyed by a fire in November is due in court this month for alleged housing violations at the multi-family residence, according to court and health department officials.
Owner David Chiarolanzio was issued a summons Dec. 17 by registered environmental health specialist Tamica Trotman of the Madison Health Department for allegedly violating sections of the borough code outlining housing standards, according to Trotman and the Madison Joint Municipal Court.
Chiarolanzio is charged with having tenants living in "unfit dwellings" that did not conform to the New Jersey State Housing Code, and with not properly registering rental properties with the borough. Trotman said housing complaints are investigated when they come in, but declined to discuss specifics of the Park Avenue case Thursday.
A message left with Chiarolanzio's attorney, Samuel DeAngelis, was not returned as of Thursday evening. Chiarolanzio's court date is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30.
The house was torn down Monday, allowing investigators to complete their investigation of the fire's cause. The fire was ruled accidental and is believed to have started in a basement utility room around a furnace or chimney, Borough Fire Chief Lou DeRosa said. Investigators waited until the burned structure was taken down to finish their investigation because part of the first floor had collapsed into the basement during the fire, making it unsafe.
Tenants lived on the first and second floors of the home, and when firefighters responded, they initially focused their efforts in the basement, where they believed, incorrectly, an individual might have been trapped. Their focus shifted once they received information from Madison police that a woman and her dog were on the second floor. They were rescued from the blaze by two Madison firefighters.
Anyone found guilty of violating any of Madison's housing standards can face, at the discretion of the judge, a fine not to exceed $2,000, up to 90 days in jail, or community service for each offense.