EVERETT, MASS. (WHDH) - Two landlords were arraigned Tuesday in connection with a massive blaze that broke out at a multi-family home in Everett last summer and left two firefighters with serious burn injuries.
Authorities say the landlords – 55-year-old Nargis Bhatti and 63-year-old Muddasir Bari – are to blame for the fire.
Prosecutors say the couple had 59 code violations in 2017 and owed more than $49,000 in unpaid fines. They also allege the Morris Street home was overcrowded by the 19 people living inside, and the electrical boxes were overloaded.
“The things that they did, they put 19 people that lived in that house in danger,” Everett Fire Lt. Scott Dalrymple said. “They put me and Josh and everyone who responded in danger that day. The fact that none of us died is a miracle.”
Dalrymple said he and firefighter Josh Doyon went into the multi-family house looking for a tenant trapped inside when the heat got too intense and the hall burst into flames.
Both firefighters were hurt. The tenant escaped to the roof and was rescued by other firefighters.
“Right now I’m down to one-and-a-half hands. Putting on my socks is a struggle,” Dalrymple said. “I wear sweat pants constantly because I can’t put a belt on and off.”
Authorities say the couple allegedly fixed the problems in the house to get “the all clear” from the city but then reinstalled all the extension cords and bad wiring after the inspection.
For the first time ever in the city of Everett, these landlords are charged with reckless violation of a building code.
Many of Everett’s firefighters were in court for the arraignment Tuesday.
“I never want to be sitting here again talking about two firefighters injured or, God forbid, killed because of someone’s lack of care for their property,” Everett Fire Chief Anthony Carli said.
Bhatti and Bari were released on personal recognizance and are due back in court in March.
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