Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Photo: Robert Pozarycki/QNS
Black smoke billows out of the roof of a seven-story apartment building in Elmhurst on April 11, 2017.

Prosecutors have declined to pursue charges against a contractor arrested following a five-alarm inferno last year at the Elmhurst apartment house in which he worked.

Declan McElhatton, 53, who worked at Maintenance Asset Management in Yonkers was arrested on April 12, one day after the blaze inside a seven-story dwelling on 94th Street near 56th Avenue. Numerous families were displaced as a result of the damage.

Fire marshals charged McElhatton after determining that an open flame left near combustible material inside the building had started the blaze. Flames then quickly spread through the upper floors of the structure.

McElhatton was facing prosecution on charges of arson and reckless endangerment. However, at a Jan. 16 court hearing, Assistant District Attorney Charissa Ilardi asked Judge Suzanne Melendez to drop the charges.

“While we do believe there was probable cause for the fire marshals to make the arrest, after a lengthy investigation, at this time, we do not believe we are able to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Ilardi was quoted in a transcript of the hearing that QNS received. Melendez then dismissed the case against McElhatton and released his bail.

Matthew Galluzzo, McElhatton’s attorney, said in a letter to QNS that his client “is beloved by the managers of the buildings with whom he works, and his character and integrity are beyond reproach.”

Comments:

Join The Discussion



Related Stories
Video shows firefighters caught in a violent blast as five-alarm fire destroys row of Sunnyside shops
Video shows firefighters caught in a violent blast as five-alarm fire destroys row of Sunnyside shops
Fast-acting fireman based in Flushing contains a blaze and saves two from a roof in Queens
Fast-acting fireman based in Flushing contains a blaze and saves two from a roof in Queens
Popular Stories
UPDATE: Teenager turns himself in for slashing student at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside
Man shouts hate slurs at woman, then punches and leaves her with broken spine in Forest Hills subway attack
Video shows firefighters caught in a violent blast as five-alarm fire destroys row of Sunnyside shops


Skip to toolbar