Cause of Lexington Avenue Fire Identified

Westchester’s Cause and Origin Team recently determined the cause of the fire at 90 Lexington Avenue. The Cause and Origin Team is the central resource for local fire chiefs to assist in the determination of the cause and origin of fires. The Cause and Origin team determined that this fire was an accidental fire caused by an impinged wire in a television entertainment center.

Need for Inspections

To the surprise of many, the Village of Mount Kisco does not have a full-time Code Enforcement Officer. The lack of a full-time Code Enforcement Officer leads to irregular inspections with respect to both timing and quality. There is no supervision of code enforcement within the building department or from outside the building department. This was a problem eight years ago when Mayor Cindrich took office and is just one of the many problems that he has not been able to solve in eight years.

Regular and quality inspections would detect code violations and ensure, among other items, that fire detectors were both installed and operable. Better and regular inspections would be able to identify potential fire hazards, such as impinged wires, and educate local residents on fire safety issues.

There were five people injured in this fire. The presence and use of safety features such as smoke alarms decreases injuries. Reportedly, two people jumped from the building, perhaps a result of being awaken by flames and not an alarm.

Zoning Laws

The house at 90 Lexington Avenue was a non-conforming residence that was built before the current zoning laws and would not be allowed to be built under current zoning laws. Mount Kisco residents should drive by the burnt out structure to see how far removed it is from the street and the potential dangers.

Since the residence does not comply with current laws, the owner of the structure (an absentee landlord) would need to receive a variance from the Zoning Board to allow the house to be rebuilt. Hopefully, the Zoning Board will not allow the owner a variance from the current zoning laws and the house will not be rebuilt.

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