(Matt Rocheleau for Boston.com)
Eight vacant buildings in Jamaica Plain are among the nearly 150 that city officials have identified as problem properties.
A team from fire, inspection services, and other departments started in East Boston Monday and are working throughout the city, reaching all of the empty or abandoned properties that the Fire Department says are dangerous. The goal is to put pressure on owners to restore the properties to a safe and sanitary condition. Failure to do so will result in legal action by the city, according to Mayor Thomas Menino who established a task force following an Aug. 21 Roxbury warehouse fire, one of the biggest in Boston’s history.
Three buildings on the list are part of a complex from 117 to 127 Heath St. that had “numerous problems,” upon last inspection two years ago. At 117 Heath St., there were building materials stored throughout two floors. The building at 123 Heath St. – designated as “outside firefighting only” – had loose and falling bricks, some windows were left open and exposed to weather, there were tires stored on one floor and the interior was gutted and appeared to be awaiting rehabilitation. An attached building, 127 Heath St., had similar problems.
At 55 Heath St., a building that has been boarded up for “many years” was the scene of previous fires, had holes in the floors, staircases in disrepair, no interior partition walls, and a roof in questionable condition. It is designated as “exterior firefighting only.”
At 18 Estrella St., a four-bay garage was being used for “illegal storage” and was in complete disorder upon last inspection.
At 60 Sheridan St., a three-story, unprotected, wood-frame building was undergoing renovations upon last inspection. The building has numerous holes in the floors and staircases missing railings and steps.
At 305 Chestnut Ave., a building has a front porch roof, with no floor below, being held up by temporary support materials as well as holes in the interior’s ceilings and floors.
At 52 Green St., a three-story, wood-framed building had an empty shaft – either for air or light – running from the roof down, and although work was in progress on its last inspection, the building remained on the unsafe properties list.
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