Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00
Mineola village officials are preparing to discipline two individuals that allegedly torched an upstairs apartment above Wong’s Noodle House on Mineola Boulevard. The fire was sparked by unsanctioned plumbing work, according to village reps.
Arcadio Matias, superintendent of the building, which is owned by of 104 2nd Avenue LLC., and plumber Puello Vasquez, were issued summonses and could not be reached for comment. The two are expected to be arraigned in village court some time in May. The
village is still trying to identify the owner/owners, who did not have a permit for the work that authorities say set the blaze.
“Summonses have been issued to everyone we think had responsibility for it,” Mineola Village Building Superintendent Dan Whalen said. “They now will be called in for an arraignment. At that arraignment, they’ll choose a plea or seek a conference with village counsel.”
Matias and Vasquez were sweating pipes with a torch in the second floor apartment’s bathroom, which abutted a bedroom closet near where a tenant was sleeping, officials said. The closet, filled with clothes, caught fire and awoke the resident.
“We have two [people],” Whalen said. “We have a pretty good idea, but until we get through court. I’m not at liberty to say anything until we speak to these people.”
The building department investigated the incident in conjunction with the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s office and found the blaze occurred due to “human error” during the course of plumbing. Wong’s experienced severe water damage and has been shuttered since.
Whalen said the violations included doing the work without a village license, insurance coverage, filing a permit and working without seeking building apartment approval.
Mineola Fire Department officials said two residents and one worker were transported to Winthrop University Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. Four residents in total were displaced because of the fire.
“The fire didn’t spread far,” MFD Chief Jeff Clark said. “Luckily no one was hurt.”