The cause of last week’s fire at 1061 Allen Street remains under investigation.
The Jamestown Fire Department declared the fire out on Friday, November 18, two days after the massive blaze resulted in response by 13 local fire companies. Officials say there were no injuries in the fire.
The property is owned by Allen Street Development LLC whose principal owners are Richard and Patricia Rusiniak of Cheektowaga. The building used to be part of the former Crawford Furniture’s complex.
Jamestown Department of Development Director Crystal Surdyk put out a release stating that various city departments, along with investigators from both the Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation had inspected the property the week before the fire to assess the condition of the main building of the massive complex and to inventory and test hazardous materials that have been found on site. She said the property was condemned due to imminent structural collapse caused by long deteriorating conditions as a direct result of property owner neglect.
Surdyk added the City has long standing citations for code violations against the owners of the property, which they had not complied with despite six court appearance summons over the last two years. The owner’s son appeared twice on behalf of Allen Street Development LLC and his parents, despite having no legal accountability for the property.
Surdyk said those “two appearances seemed to appease the court, as Richard G. Rusiniak assured the court that he would relay the judge’s orders to show substantial improvement in the cleaning up of the property to his parents. Unfortunately these assurances have not resulted in any corrective action.”
The Department of Development and the City’s Legal team are exploring all legal options available to hold Allen Street Development, LLC and Patricia and Richard J. Rusiniak, accountable for their “intentional and malicious neglect.”
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