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More violations against Jersey City landlord

April 11, 2011 3:29:03 PM PDT
More code violations were found at buildings owned by a landlord whose tenant died last week from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The hot water in apartment buildings 39 and 41 Laidlaw Avenue was shut off Monday morning after fire inspectors found code violations.

Neither building had carbon monoxide detectors in the hallways or basements and the Fire Director says the water heater ventilation system, which forces the deadly gas out of the building was connected to a chimney, not properly lined to do the job correctly.

"Meaning when the carbon monoxide goes into the chimney, it can leak out if the bricks are compromised, can get pushed back down or back in if someone has their windows open," said Armando Roman, the Jersey City Fire Director.

The units are owned by Farouk Tadrous, who ran from Eyewitness News' cameras and questions last week, after 24-year-old Rosario Ferrara-Matos was found dead in her apartment at 446 Baldwin Avenue, literally around the corner.

She died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Tadrous was fined for not having co-detectors in the apartment, and for faulty installation of the pipes to rid the gas from the apartment.

The tenant at 446 before Ferraras-Matos, a 48-year-old man, had also died of CO poisoning just weeks earlier.

The fire department last week found a case of unopened carbon monoxide detectors at Farouk's building.

Several tenants at the building, would not speak on camera, but did say inspectors checked the detectors in their apartments, found no CO leaks, but they didn't seem to realize, PSE&G shut down the hot water heaters.

Jose Santos came by Monday, looking for the apartment where his cousin, Ferraras-Matos took her last fatal breath.

He was still shaken by her death, and angry to learn the landlord still has not properly installed the simple device that could save others from the deadly gas that took his cousin's life.

"Some people, they know what's wrong with the building. They don't care. Even some people living there, they think it won't happen to them," Santos said.

Eyewitness News reached Mr. Tadrous by phone, and asked him to speak on camera, to tell us if the repairs are being done.

He said, "Speak to my lawyer, I have no comment", and he hung up.

So far he's facing more than $41,000 in fines.

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