NYCHA building goes without fire alarm system for 9 MONTHS — until Help Me Howard steps in

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When we got a call from Cynthia Hill of Jamaica, Queens, we couldn’t quite believe what she was telling us — that the fire alarm system in the Shelton Houses where she lives has been out of commission for nine months!

“I call and they say they’re gonna fix it. But nine months I think is crazy,” Cynthia says. “That’s all ya get from them: We’re workin’ on it.”

Shelton Houses is a 12 story building with hundreds of residents, many of them senior citizens. And, sure enough, when we went over there, there were notes on the fire alarms telling residents to call 911. Special security guards were on duty in case of fire emergency.

Shelton Houses is a New York City Housing Authority building. So we contacted NYCHA and politely told them how unusual this scenario sounded. NYCHA got the message. It got the repairs finished and told us so within a few days.

Cynthia Hill is happy. She says the notes over the alarms are gone. So are the special guards. But no one ever bothered to inform the residents that the problem was fixed.

That’s life in our city.


  • Michael

    Great job Howard!
    As a fire inspector myself in the State of NJ it is disturbing to hear that the FDNY was aware of this situation for 9 months and nothing was done. Many questions should of been asked. Yes the fire watch security was put into place but not for 9 months. The FDNY should of been all over the housing authority and building owner to abate the violation immediately. What violations were issued and when were they issued? What was the abatement date? Where was the Fire Marshall? Great job Cynthia Hill!!!

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