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To recap our visit to 219 Amity St after the fire, this is what we expect
for your next steps to get the building back on line. As we mentioned,
this building has a long history as being a multi-unit apartment building
but we do not have permits or records as to how it came about. It has
grown from 4 to 6 to now 9 units without obvious documentation. This
brings great concern to us since we did not see proper fire separation
between units where doors and windows were closed off. A few units
need to egress through an adjacent unit to access a 2nd means of
egress. Some units only have ONE egress. The smoke detection
system is not consistently installed throughout the building. Some
units have one detector and some have multiple, including the
bedrooms. At least 2 units had bathrooms that vented into adjacent

The fire damage was confined primarily to the kitchen in Unit 6,

the point of origin. The unit did sustain heavy smoke and soot
damage throughout, including the 3rd floor. The bedrooms of Units 2
and 3, immediately below Unit 6, had water dripping from the ceiling
on the night of the fire. The ceilings and floors need to be checked for
damage and moisture. The 2nd floor corridor floor and associated
structure needs to be checked for moisture since a large amount of
water was dumped in that area. Any structures exposed to water
need to be fully dried out since these structures develop mold quickly
in hot conditions (daytime highs in upper 80s and 90s recently).

On the night of the fire, Unit 6 had 5 bedrooms in use with one room
having 2 beds in it for a total of 6. As you know, the Zoning By-laws
limit the number of tenants to 4 un-related individuals. This would be

a violation. The 3rd floor, or attic space, was finished off sometime
after the last visit of the assessors office in 2002. We do not have
permits that reflect that change. Before Unit 6 goes back into use, you
will need to provide a plan as to how you will restrict this unit to no
more than 4 tenants. Final occupancy will not be granted for this unit
until this is resolved.

You need to provide a copy of the lease for Unit 6 within the next
48 hours.

The following is a list of items to start working on in order to get the

units back in use:
1) Have the gas lines pressure-tested via a gas permit to
have the gas meter re-connected.
2) Isolate the electricity to the fire-damaged unit and units
below, in order to have the electricity re-stored to the
building. Be sure to check the other units in case there
are appliances that were left on during the start of the
fire and evacuation.
3) Repair/replace apartment doors damaged from gaining
4) Prepare an architectural plan of the building on all floors,
labeling the use of spaces and rooms, units, and egresses.
This will be used to lay out the fire alarm system.
5) Submit and install a fire alarm system that is fully
compliant. Some units may be current.
6) Submit and install proper fire separation details in
openings that were closed off between units, such as doors
and windows.

7) Fire-stop all penetrations that were created when the new

heating system was installed in 2008.
8) Repair or replace the rear egress to unit 9.
9) Remove or replace defunct wiring or damaged knob and
tube wiring found in the basement. Close or replace open
junction boxes found in the basement, garage, and as
10) Test and repair/replace emergency lighting and exits signs
as needed.
11) Vent bathrooms to outside as needed.
12) Re-locate washer and dryer to a new location that is not in
the egress path. It is currently in the 2nd floor corridor.

Keep in mind that this is an immediate list of items, but not all. We will
evaluate the history of the building and the related codes that were in
place at the time to determine what else may need to be addressed.
This building has evolved from its initial use as a single family
dwelling. We have not been able to confirm the date when the
changes occurred.

David J. Waskiewicz
Senior Building Inspector
Amherst Inspection Services