Two landlords who managed a building that caught fire over the summer in Everett, Massachusetts, leaving two firefighters and another person injured, are facing charges.
The Middlesex County District Attorney's Office said 63-year-old Muddasir Bari and 55-year-old Nargis Bhatti, both of Everett, would be arraigned Tuesday over alleged building code violations in connection with the 3-alarm fire that broke out on July 13.
Two firefighters were seriously injured as they tried to battle the flames and rescue an occupant.
A grandmother was treted and released from the hospital that night, as was one of the firefighters.
Possible Code Violations Investigated in Everett Fire
In July, the Everett Fire Department identified the injured firefighters as Lt. Scott Dalrymple and Private Josh Doyon.
Bari and Bhatti are charged with wanton and reckless disregard of fire or building codes that result in serious bodily injuries. Prosecutors said the charges come under the Comprehensive Fire Safety Act, which was passed in response to the deadly 2003 Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island.
"Firefighters put themselves at risk whenever they respond to a fire and that is why there are laws in place to minimize risk to first responders in the public," District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement. "In this case, through their alleged violation of the building codes, the defendants are alleged to have created a dangerous situation that ultimately led to two firefighters sustaining serious injuries."
"This case is a worst case scenario of what can happen when overcrowding and serious fire and building codes are ignored," Everett Fire Chief Anthony Carli added. "I appreciate the district attorney taking on this case and taking these matters as seriously as the City of Everett does."