New Yorkers Thrown Out of Home

Tenants in a luxury building were evicted after inspectors found it was an illegal convert.
Tenants in a luxury building were evicted after inspectors found it was an illegal convert.

Dozens of New Yorkers had to leave their homes Monday evening after city inspectors discovered that the building they lived in fails to meet with basic fire safety rules.

"They called it a fire trap," said Siobhan Burn, a resident of the building, at 1182 Broadway, who was walking down he street earlier this week.

The 16-story landmark doorman building, close to Manhattan's Garment District, was illegally converted more than a decade ago from offices into 60 apartments. But it seems the landlord, Mocal Enterprises, failed to make the change official with the city. Though the building has been inspected once a year by the Fire Department, it clearly doesn't meet the city's standards for a residential building. For starters, it only has one stairwell and no sprinkler system.

Apartments in this firetrap rented for as much as $3,700 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, according to listings, although the New York Post pegs the rents as high as $5,000.