The Boston Department of Inspection Services discovered that in what was supposed to be a condemned garage on Geneva Street in East Boston, there was actually a two-bedroom living unit.
And there was enough space for 20 separate beds to accommodate 20 people, who would be flight attendants crashing between flights, officials said.
“This unit was illegally built, stored hazardous materials, missing smoke detectors and no second means of egress,” said a department tweet says.
In a separate tweet, the department notes that a permit is required before anything is built.
“Converting a garage to residential units without going through the proper procedures is a violation and, more importantly, dangerous to the occupants,” the department said. “Hazardous and flammable materials must be stored properly.”
Photos of the unit show a row of bunk beds with belongings thrown on top. There are also what appear to be stacked paint cans and a plastic container typically used to store gasoline.
A property inspection was carried out on April 5th. A sentencing hearing then determined that the building was “unsuitable for human habitation”, according to a notice of decision from the inspection services.
“The dwelling, which is located in a commercial garage, has not been licensed by the City of Boston for residential use,” the decision states. “The kitchen and bathroom appliances were installed without the necessary permits, no approved second means of egress from the residential space, and missing smoke/carbon monoxide detectors from the common area.”
The owner reportedly said he was unaware the permits were required.
The occupants, numbering 19 at the time, were said to be flight attendants, according to WHDH; they were said to be paying $300 a month to stay there.
“They live there, they sleep there,” City Inspector John Meaney told the news channel. “They eat there. So it’s residential, it’s illegal and it’s dangerous. On paper, it’s a garage. They built an apartment above the garage, which is illegal. No permits drawn.
“What you really had was a death trap. I don’t think any of them knew that.
The building could be removed from condemnation if a licensed contractor is hired to put the property under code, along with reports of the work and a repair schedule, according to the decision. The owner must also request an inspection from the city, among other conditions.
A re-inspection is scheduled for next Thursday to ensure the property is in compliance with the city’s order.
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