City: Repairs could have prevented Paterson fire

A Paterson inspector warned in January that the house that burst into flames yesterday needed electrical repairs to "prevent a future mishap."

Yesterday, that mishap apparently happened when the home erupted into flames, killing four people. Two men and two women were killed. Three bodies were pulled from the rubble and another victim died at the hospital after jumping from the third floor of the building.

The house was declared an imminent danger Jan. 9 when inspectors found exposed wires and uncovered electrical panels in the basement. The violations were never fixed, according to city officials.

As recently as May 20, a city electrical inspector found some of the same problems. The city building department is also investigating whether the duplex was an illegal rooming house.

The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office is reviewing inspection reports and will determine if charges should be filed. The homeowner, Florence Brown, who may be facing these charges is still in the hospital.

The medical examiner has spoken to family members of some of the victims, but police have not officially released the names of the victims.

AP wires contributed to this report. Related Stories:

4 dead, at least 3 injured in Paterson fire

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