New York Apartment Building Fires; Blame Code Violations


No, these aren't pictures of ruins from the Byzantine Empire but of two Manhattan Chinatown buildings (283 and 285 Grand St.) torched by a seven-alarm fire last Monday. The fire that spread among commercial/residential rental buildings (including 281 and 289 Grand St.) left one person dead, more than two dozen injured and about 200 homeless. And it led at least one observant New Yorker to wonder if the worst rental apartment-building fire in two years would cause a crackdown on building code violations -- the way the city cracked down on restaurants thanks to KFC and Taco Bell rats.