News, Police/Fire

Crews pull down the burnt remains of a Lynn apartment building

Within hours of the blaze, the Inspectional Services Department declared the building uninhabitable and ordered the three-story structure demolished. (Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — It didn’t take long for the city to determine the remains of the fire-ravaged apartment building on Broad Street had to come down.

Within hours of last week’s blaze, which left more than two dozen tenants homeless, the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) found the dwelling uninhabitable. As a result, ISD ordered the owner, Sean Neal of Arlington, to secure the 18-unit property and start demolition the following day.

As of late Wednesday, most of the three-story building had been razed. Only the first floor remains. It has been covered with a giant tarp and secured.

“The structure has been taken down so much as is necessary to prevent collapse or public danger and is capped for safety,” said Clint Muche, deputy building commissioner.

Neal is is working with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to identify a place to dispose of potentially hazardous materials, such as asbestos, from the site, Muche said. It’s unclear when the work will be completed.

A DEP spokesman said the agency found multiple types of asbestos on the site and required the contractor to devise a plan on how to remove and safely dispose of the materials.

“We are still working the timeline out with DEP and everyone else who is involved,” Neal said.

District Fire Chief Stephen Archer said the fire likely started in a third floor kitchen, the result of unattended cooking, and quickly spread. One woman was taken to the hospital, but has been released.

Muche said ISD will continue to monitor the scene to ensure it remains safe and secure, and permits are obtained for the waste disposal. He said Neal is getting bids for the removal of the materials.

“We are in contact with the property owner, and his agents on-site, and are satisfied that their progress does not warrant city intervention at this time,” Muche said. “Time is not exactly of the essence as they progress forward.”

Neal was reluctant to discuss his plans, but Muche said the landlord is expected to rebuild.

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