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Pass Fire Safety Bill

State Sen. Legislation Gives Credits For Cockloft Fix

Before ending its session last month, the State Senate passed legislation drafted last year following a five-alarm fire in Middle Village to eliminate fire hazards associated with cocklofts in attached residences.

The State Senate approved S.5944, sponsored by State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, which provides tax credits of up to $500 to homeowners for the purpose of correcting hazardous cocklofts, which are small spaces under roofs and above the ceilings of the top floor.

According to Addabbo, investigators believed cocklofts helped fuel a five-alarm inferno on 68th Avenue in Middle Village last September which damaged seven attached homes, injured 11 firefighters and displaced many families.

It is believe the cocklofts in each home allowed for flames to spread from building to building.

Cocklofts are not included in newer attached buildings, but they remain in place in many older attached homes in Middle Village, Ridgewood, Bushwick and other neighborhoods across the city.

“Over the years, there has been growing evidence that cocklofts lead to extremely fast moving and hardto control flames that put both residents and firefighters at extreme risk, and we need to address those dangers,” Addabbo said.

“Clearly, if we can do something to address the serious dangers that cocklofts now pose to our residents and emergency personnel, we should do it,” the senator added. “This legislation seeks to lend a hand to homeowners who might otherwise be unable to afford the improvements. In turn, we will be able to provide safer neighborhoods for all of us, and very possibly save lives and prevent unspeakable tragedies.”

Addabbo hoped the State Assembly would pass similar legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Joseph Lentol in Brooklyn. No action was reportedly taken on the measure in the Assembly before the legislative session ended.

If the state legislature does not reconvene before the end of this year, the bill would need to be reintroduced in the Assembly and State Senate at the next session in January 2015.

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