From the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal:
The Office of the State Fire Marshal has issued multiple Notices of Violation to Mr. Jeffrey A. Luck, property manager of the Edgewood townhouse that caught fire on Thursday, May 9, 2019 and resulted in three fatalities and two injuries.
“Code enforcement allows us to provide life safety and fire prevention to the residents of Maryland,” said State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci. “I consider the preservation of life to be the most important responsibility of this office. It was clear after our initial investigation of last week’s fatal fire that we needed to immediately inspect every property affiliated with Mr. Luck for the safety of his tenants and the community.”
Luck’s six other properties in the Edgewood community contained multiple fire code violations, including a lack of smoke alarms and pad locks on bedroom doors, and will be re-inspected for compliance. None of the homes under Mr. Luck’s management contained sprinkler or fire alarm systems, which is a requirement of dwellings with six or more occupants. These properties are located at the following Edgewood community locations:
1846 Grempler Way
1848 Eloise Lane
1854 Eloise Lane
1947 Brookside Drive
1945 Brookside Drive
1459 Charlestown Drive
The fatal fire on Simons Court remains under investigation and was not included in the inspections described above. The Office of the State Fire Marshal will perform additional inspections of these properties to verify occupancy and ensure all life safety code violations have been corrected. At this time, no criminal charges or fines have been issued.
So this was constructed without the necessary sprinkler systems? Who was supposed to be inspecting that? The county?
A in B.A. says
These homes were built decades before mandatory sprinkler systems.
That does not matter numb-nuts, if you are renting to six or more tenants in one unit you are required to have them. If you don’t want to be in violation, do not have 6 tenants renting in a single townhome.
There should be a law passed in Harford County that you cannot rent to multiple families in a single townhome and that you cannot convert a rented townhome into multiple apartments.
Many of these townhomes are converted to multiple apartments, typically three separate apartments with no way of escape during a fire and tons of other violations of egress, etc.
These apartments are all over Dundalk and they are a disaster.
I thought Baltimore county had mandatory rental inspections by licensed inspectors?
Often times the tenants lie. You rent out a section 8 to and lady w 2 kids and next thing you know and without your knowledge there are 5 other people living there. She’s renting rooms – that’s why there are padlocks. Without surprise inspections (which you’re not allowed to do) there’s little way to control it.
Since he’s a slum lord and has turned these single family townhouses into mini-apartment buildings the sprinkler systems are required.
If he hadn’t turned these houses into essentially illegal apartment buildings then the sprinkler systems wouldn’t be required since they were built decades before that regulation went into effect.
I’ve been in at least one house in that area (and it’s been awhile so I don’t remember now exactly what the address was…possibly one of these) where the slum lord owner was renting out each individual bedroom upstairs to different people, had the living room divided into 2 “units” (separated by a plywood partition and no door), the main open area of the the basement divided into 4 “units” (separated by curtains), and another small room in the basement that did actually have a door. I don’t know how much most of them were paying, but the guy in the actual room in the basement was paying $500/month to live there. I’d guess the people in the upstairs bedrooms were paying a similar amount and the people in the other “units” were paying $150-$200/month.
Crap like that is why there needs to be rental licenses in Harford County and why assholes like Luck and whoever owned the place I just described are so against it. He may not have set the fire that burned this house down and killed 3 people, but he sure set up the conditions that allowed it to happen.
There was a house like that right behind Forest Hill elementary school people living every where.. I imagine it’s still there
We don’t need any new laws. More laws just create the illusion of safety.
There are plenty of people who don’t rent treat their tenants that way. We need to enforce the laws on the books. The place is an illegal boarding house. The person who owns the property should be held accountable. Mr. Luck only rents the property. He doesn’t own it. The owner should have known.
Like id give that says
I actually lived in this house that burned down a year before it went. Youre 100% right about the curtains seperating the “units” and people strawn out everywhere. I lived in the living room, the open side and it was horrible. Cockroaches, bed bugs, mites. The place was a fucking tinder box waiting to go. Slum lord.
The house you’re talking about is this exact home.
True Dat says
The owner will be let off the hook as those in Harford County are too busy chasing people making negative facebook postings and those using the justice system as their personal get even with others system. Its perverse how this happens and needs to change. Real people hurt because the government isn’t doing its job. Yet those government officials will face no accountability.
I would not be surprised if inspectors weren’t paid to look the other way.
At a minimum, there should have been smoke detectors.
You are required to have dual carbon monoxide/smoke detectors on every level.
My mother lived there when the fire occurred, and she is still in Bay View John Hopkins due to what happened. Lucky is and always has been a slim Lord, I lived in his Aberdeen house that is ran the same way this one was ran… as a boarding house. And he preys on people who get a monthly disability check and becomes their payee and then keeps all their money. On a good note, the lady Bobby Sue Hodges was arrested and charged with the fire I got a call today from the sheriff’s Dept about this.