Quantcast

QNS/Photos by Brianna Ellis
State Senator Tony Avella joined with neighbors and city agencies in Flushing to remove two abandoned cars.

Two cars parked next to an abandoned house in Flushing pose a fire threat to the neighborhood, according to a local politician. Community members, elected officials and city employees rallied on Tuesday to remove the vehicles.

Neighbors say that both derelict vehicles have been parked at the abandoned property, located at 50-19 175th Pl., for more than two decades. Additionally, the cars are cluttered with hoarded newspapers, which can create a serious fire hazard as the summer heats up.

Stella Beckman, the original property owner, died more than 10 years ago and legal notices have been piling up in the mailbox. Since it is a private property with no mortgage, the home is filled with debris, infested with raccoons and visited by teenage trespassers who allegedly distributed drugs.

Car 2

QNS photo

QNS photo by Brianna Ellis

QNS photo

Not to mention, the abandoned house erupted in flames a couple of years ago, according to neighbors.

“The house went on fire … I heard someone said that he did not pay the electricity bill, so he had no light, no water, so he lit up the candles before he left to go to the supermarket and he forgot about the candles,” an anonymous resident told QNS about Franklin, also known as “Frankie,” the late Beckman’s son who may have accidentally caused the fire. “The candle fell down and burned those newspapers in the house. He’s crazy with reading I think, all the time he went to the library very often and kept all those magazines and newspapers.”

QNS photo

QNS photo

QNS photo

QNS photo

“He was very quiet, he didn’t talk to anybody,” next-door neighbor Maria Tsi told QNS about Frankie, who slept on the porch of the dilapidated house after his mother’s death. “Before the house set on fire, every day he came home. He wasn’t living inside, he was living outside. He only came here at nighttime around 11 o’clock or 12 o’clock.” She expressed concerns that Frankie may be dead or in the hospital since neighbors have not seen him in a year.

The neighbors are also worried that Frankie’s newspapers, stacked high in the abandoned cars, will spark a second fire. One neighbor, who chose to remain anonymous, reached out to state Senator Tony Avella last year and asked him to remove the neglected vehicles.

“The problem is that me and [neighbor Maria Tsi] suffer because we’re between this,” said the anonymous next-door neighbor who contacted Avella. “It’s a jungle house here. Kids come from school, they hide here, they do their drugs … Now in the daytime, the raccoons are living right there in the attic. They have shelter now. There are like more than 50 raccoons … I wish you could come here around 8 o’clock. I’ll show you the raccoons that are here. I can’t do my barbecues sometimes, I have to wrap it up around 8:30, 9 o’clock.”

Avella who took action toward the demolition project last summer, arranged an on-site inspection with the Department of Sanitation (DOS), the Department of Buildings (DOB), the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) on Tuesday.

“This property is a pox on the community, and people are completely justified in feeling frustrated with the city’s inaction. The dilapidated home drops property values, it is unsanitary, and the derelict vehicles are a fire disaster waiting to happen,” Avella said in Monday’s press release. “It’s time for the city to stop going in circles, bypass the normal waiver process, and, at the very least, remove the two abandoned cars filled with newspapers before a fire starts to spread.”

Photo by State Senator Tony Avella's Press Office

Photo by state Senator Tony Avella’s press office

Avella contacted the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) in March to demolish the building. HPD responded in May saying that the property owner’s death is not a sufficient reason to warrant a demolition. The outstanding taxes on the property have been purchased by a servicing company, but it will take years before the home enters the foreclosure process.

Comments:

Join The Discussion



Related Stories
Fresh Meadows home that’s been a local eyesore for years has been auctioned off
Fresh Meadows home that’s been a local eyesore for years has been auctioned off
Abandoned and crumbling Fresh Meadows home will finally be sold by the city
Abandoned and crumbling Fresh Meadows home will finally be sold by the city


Skip to toolbar