Deadly Englewood fire focuses mayor?s attention on illegal apartments

Englewood Mayor Michael Wilde proposed Friday that the city conduct more spot inspections of homes that may have illegal apartments.The mayor wants to base the spot checks on visible evidence like multiple satellite dishes on a single house or an excess number of cars. Wilde toured illegal apartments on 79 James Street prior to a fire that killed two people in a basement apartment Tuesday. The apartment lacked a second exit and other safety features required of legal apartments. The blaze exposed what fire officials say is a huge problem in Englewood ? apartments built without following code.Construction code officials already do spot checks but they agree with the mayor that the city needs to revise its housing ordinance. City officials are meeting on Tuesday to discuss ways to shore up the codes. Since the blaze, residents are lodging more complaints than usual about such illegal apartments, according to the mayor?s office.

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