Thursday, June 29, 2017

Twin 3-year-old boys Jayceon Ford, Jayshawn Ford and their grandmother, Michelle Ford, died of smoke and soot inhalation and thermal burns in house fire in Detroit, MI. Stove may have started the fire.

3-year-old twin boys and their grandmother died in a house fire on the 18900 block of Lahser Road in Detroit. Photographed on Tuesday, June 27, 2017. Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press

Officials released the names of the twin 3-year-old boys and their grandmother killed in a Detroit house fire early Tuesday.

Jayceon Ford, Jayshawn Ford and their grandmother, Michelle Ford, died of smoke and soot inhalation and thermal burns, Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office spokeswoman Lisa Croff said today.

All three were pronounced dead at the scene in the 18900 block of Lahser, near West 7 Mile and Grand River. Their bodies were discovered in an upstairs bedroom on the floor, officials said.

Detroit Deputy Fire Commissioner David Fornell said the stairway to the second floor burned during the fire that broke out around 12:45 a.m., cutting off their exit path.

A cousin of the twins, a 4-year-old boy, was able to escape from the basement and suffered burns to his body, Fornell said.

The accidental fire started in the kitchen and remains under investigation.


When firefighters arrived at a home on Detroit’s west side early this morning, family members told them people were trapped on the second floor.

Firefighters extinguished the flames engulfing the first floor and discovered the bodies of three people killed, including twin 3-year-old boys and their 46-year-old grandmother, who had her arms wrapped around one of the children, Detroit Deputy Fire Commissioner David Fornell said.

“When we finally knocked the fire down, the stairway was burned away … that was the only exit from upstairs,” he said. “It cut off their exit path.”

All three were pronounced dead at the scene in the 18900 block of Lahser, near West Seven Mile and Grand River. Their bodies were discovered in an upstairs bedroom on the floor, officials said.

A 4-year-old boy, a cousin of the twins, was able to escape from the basement on his own, fire officials said. He was taken to Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit with second- and third-degree burns over 20% of his body and was in critical condition, Fornell said.

“It was a sad scene,” he said.

Officials have not released the names of those killed and injured.

Crews were dispatched to the home where 12 people lived around 12:45 a.m. The investigation determined the accidental fire started in the kitchen and may have been caused by a faulty stove, Fornell said.

People dropped off balloons and stuffed animals in front of the charred bungalow today, and neighbors remembered the twins as friendly, sweet boys who played with their bikes and smiled all the time.

Monique Holley said she saw the young boys Monday morning in the back yard with their grandmother, and they told her "hi."

The family who lived in the home destroyed by flames was new to the neighborhood and moved in within the last year, she said.

Holley woke up around 1 a.m. and heard screaming coming from the house next door. One man, she said, was yelling the names of the people still inside.

“The fire it just went so fast,” she said, adding flames were shooting out of the home.

Emergency crews transported two adults, a man and woman, to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Firefighters said the woman was very emotional and transported as a precaution and the man was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters said they found a single smoke detector in the home, which was in basement. It was emitting sounds, but not very loudly, Fornell said.“It would not have been effective upstairs,” he said.

Ford Family Fundraiser.....
There's a family in need today. Around 1:00am a ferocious blaze of fire was taking the life of 3 precious souls and tried to claim a fourth. Several people were able to escape the fire however, Michelle Ford struggled to rescue her twin grandsons Jaysean and jayceon Ford. Where unable to escape the flames. Michelle was able to get the twins older brother Semaj Ford to his uncle Kelvin. Kelvin was able to get him outside the home but is currently in the ICU try to recover from second and third degree burns. Neither Michelle nor the twins had life insurance. The family will need to not only find away to pay for all three funerals but also pay for temporary housing and clothing to replace the material things lost in the fire. While there's nothing that can replace the lives of the loved ones lost in this tragic event. Any and all help will be appreciated.
My neices and nephew Precious, Quanita and Kelvin appreciate your donations.

Twin 3-year-old boys, grandmother killed in house fire on Lahser Road in Detroit

4-year-old boy badly burned, in critical condition

By Priya Mann - Reporter , Nick Monacelli - Reporter , Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT, MI - Young twin boys and a woman are dead and a 4-year-old child is in critical condition after a home caught fire early Tuesday morning in the 18000 block of Lahser Road on Detroit's west side. 

Twins Jayceon and Jayshawn Ford and their grandmother, Michelle Ford, were identified as the victims.

Fire investigators believe the fire was caused by a kitchen appliance. They do not suspect foul play. 

The fire started about 12:45 a.m. The family was trapped upstairs on the second floor. The twin boys are 3 years old. Their grandmother, who was in her late 40s, also was killed. The 4-year-old boy suffered second and third degree burns. The child is being treated at Children's Hospital. 

The victims died of smoke inhalation.
Overall, 12 people were in the home at the time of the fire. The grandmother and the twin boys died upstairs. Local 4 has learned the woman had one of the boys in her arms. 

Woman known as neighborhood grandma

Deadly house fire west Detroit_1498559277676.jpg

Three people killed in a fire at a home June 27, 2017 in 18000 block of Lahser on Detroit's west side. (WDIV)
Neighbors said the family was very loveable. The grandmother is described as the neighborhood's matriarch. 
"The grandmother of the neighborhood. She would fee you. She would clothe you. She would pray for you. Anything you needed, she would do it. She was the neighborhood grandma," said Dominique Perkins. 
Neighbor John Holley said it's devastating for everyone. 
"You don't wish that upon nobody," he said. 

Stove may have caused fire

Firefighters removed a stove from the home as fire investigators try to determine how this happened.


tips for those who must work or exercise outdoors:
  • Ensure that cool drinking water is available.
  • Drink water or electrolyte-replacing sports drinks often; do not wait until you are thirsty.
  • Avoid drinking sweetened drinks, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Avoid drinking extremely cold water as this is more likely to cause cramps.
  • Allow athletes or outdoor workers to take frequent rests.

Older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions:
  • During peak heat hours stay in an air-conditioned area. If you do not have access to air conditioning in your home, visit public facilities such as cooling centers, shopping malls, parks, and libraries to stay cool.
  • Older adults and those on certain medications may not exhibit signs of dehydration until several hours after dehydration sets in. Stay hydrated by frequently drinking cool water. If you’re on a special diet that limits liquids, check with your doctor for information on the amount of water to consume.
  • Stay out of the sun if you do not need to be in it. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and loose-fitting, light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants to protect against sun damage. And remember to use sun screen and to wear sunglasses.

Infants and Children:
  • It is illegal to leave an infant or child unattended in a vehicle (California Vehicle Code Section 15620).
  • Infants and young children can get dehydrated very quickly. Make sure they are given plenty of cool water to drink.
  • Keep children indoors or shaded as much as possible.
  • Dress children in loose, lightweight, and light colored clothing.

  • Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows ‘cracked’ or open.
  • Outdoor animals should be given plenty of shade and clean drinking water.
  • Do not leave pets outside in the sun.
  • Pets should not be left in a garage as garages can get very hot due to lack of ventilation and insulation. 

An out of control locomotive was responsible for the death of miner Marius "Slick" Shepherd, 32, while working underground at the Oak Grove Coal Mine in Alabama

HUEYTOWN, Ala. (WBMA) — An out of control locomotive was responsible for the death of a miner at a west Jefferson County coal mine earlier this month, according to a preliminary report filed by (MSHA) Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Marius Shepherd, 32, of Jasper, was killed on June 19th while working underground at the Oak Grove Mine. A report filed by investigators on Friday states Shepherd was killed from a head injury he suffered after he either jumped or was thrown from a mine rail that had lost control. Shepherd was taken to UAB Hospital where he was pronounced dead hours after the accident.

The driver of the underground train suffered less serious injuries. The findings of the report are subject to possible change. An investigation into the incident by MSHA and the Alabama Department of Labor is ongoing.

HUEYTOWN, Ala. — Seneca Coal Resources confirms a worker died in an accident Monday afternoon.

Marius Y. Shepherd, of Jasper, was killed in a rail haulage accident at the Oak Grove Mine outside Hueytown around 6:30 p.m. Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Alabama Department of Labor are investigating the incident at this time.

Seneca Coal says in a statement that they are cooperating with all federal and state investigators.

ABC 33/40 will update this story as more information is made available.


Jasper man dies in coal mining accident
Posted Wednesday, June 21, 2017

By NICOLE SMITH, Daily Mountain Eagle

A Jasper man died Monday in an accident at a coal mine in Jefferson County.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office confirmed that Marius “Slick” Shepherd, 32, was pronounced dead at an area hospital after a rail hauling accident at Oak Grove Mine in Hueytown at 6:30 p.m. Monday. The mine is owned by West Virginia company Seneca Coal Resources.

Shepherd lived in Jasper with his wife, Alison, and their two children, Brooklyn and Madalyn. He was a native of Parrish and a graduate of Parrish High School.

Alison Shepherd said Tuesday she is thankful for the outpouring of support from the community and is “numb” from the tragic loss of her husband.

“My wonderful husband believed in the Lord. He had a strong relationship with God. I know he's watching over us now. We have the best guardian angel I could ever have,” she said in a post on Facebook. “Everyone please hold your babies and spouses extra close tonight, because tomorrow is definitely not promised. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers. Especially our girls. They adore their daddy so much.”

Bubba Cagle, a Parrish City Council member and lifelong friend of Shepherd’s, said his friend was a good man and a friend to all.

“Slick was as good as they come, a friend for the ages, a brother, a classmate, a teammate, someone you could tell anything,” Cagle said. “Life doesn't give many lifelong friends, but I was lucky to have had Slick. Not many grown men will tell each other, 'I love you, man,' upon departure or hanging up the phone as we did, but we were family and always will be."

Oakman Mayor Cory Franks, Shepherd’s first cousin, said their family is heartbroken.

“We’re still in shock. It’s just unexpected. ... Slick was a family man. He worked hard to provide for his wife and kids. He had so many friends, and he was the type of person that would help anybody that he could help,” Franks said. “He loved working in the coal mines. Our grandfather worked in the coal mines, and our uncles worked in the coal mines. He was proud of what he did, and he enjoyed it.”

Parrish Mayor Heather Hall expressed her condolences in a post on Facebook, on behalf of the Parrish community.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Slick Shepherd. I am sure he had every intention of going home last night,” Hall said. “Hold your loved ones a little closer and remember this family in your prayers. Also please keep our miners in your prayers. We sometimes forget what an incredibly dangerous job these men do every day. God Bless.”

The accident at Oak Grove Mine is being investigated by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Alabama Department of Labor.

At press time, funeral arrangements had not been announced.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that he has declared a state of emergency over New York City's trouble public transit system and has asked its new leader to complete a series of urgent reviews of the agency's management and aging infrastructure.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that he has declared a state of emergency over New York City's trouble public transit system and has asked its new leader to complete a series of urgent reviews of the agency's management and aging infrastructure.

The major announcement signals a change in how the MTA will operate in the future.

"We need ideas outside the box," he said. "Because frankly, the box is broken."

Cuomo's call for dramatic change comes on another day of commuter frustration and during the MTA's "Genius Transit Challenge Conference, which is bringing transit experts together to come up with ways of improving the city's rail service.

New York Gov. Cuomo says change at the MTA is needed now
The governor's plan is to expedite the agency's ability to reorganize and reallocated money.

"I'm asking (MTA chairman) Joe Lhota to do a reorganization plan of the MTA in 30 days," he said. "Start with a blank piece of paper. There are no givens. There are no sacred cows. Design an organization that performs the function."

Cuomo turns to Lhota and interim executive director Ronnie Hakim, giving them 60 days to assess the capital needs.

"Our system, therefore, is again at a breaking point," Hakim said. "We are aggressively combating a New York transit crisis."

The city's subways and commuter trains have been plagued by rising delays and unreliable service. Dozens of people were injured when a subway derailed Tuesday.

"In an age where you are building drones and autonomous vehicles, it can't be 40 years to design and install a signal system for a subway system," Cuomo said.

The new effort now is to speed up the procurement process for new equipment and cars to make repair work faster.

"New Yorkers deserve a safe, reliable and viable subway system," Lhota said. "That is our goal. That is our charge. That is what we must do."

The ongoing subway problems are coupled with repair work that will cause widespread delays at Penn Station, where the subways converge with New York and New Jersey commuter lines and Amtrak trains.

Cuomo repeated his warning that rail riders could face "a summer of hell" but said alternatives like ferries, express buses and creative train scheduling should provide some relief.

Venus Williams was at fault in a fatal auto accident that killed 78-year-old Jerome Barson in Florida; Venus' northbound SUV suddenly darted into the intersection and there was no time for the other driver to stop and she T-boned Venus' Mercedes Benz SUV.

Venus Williams was at fault in a fatal auto accident that killed a 78-year-old man in Florida, cops told TMZ Sports.   

It said a 78-year-old man died two weeks after the June 9 crash near Ballenisles Drive and Northlake Boulevard.

According to the website, Williams said she was trying to make it through an intersection in Palm Beach Gardens on June 9 inside her huge Mercedes Benz SUV, but traffic backed up and she got stuck blocking traffic. The car, driven by the wife of the victim, then T-boned Williams’ SUV.

Jerome Barson suffered head trauma and died two weeks after the accident.

“[Venus] is at fault for violating the right of way of [the other driver],” the police report reads, according to the gossip website.

There was no evidence Williams was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or distracted by a cellphone, TMZ reports.

Williams, 37, is expected to play in Wimbledon next week.


Venus Williams caused a car accident that sent a 78-year-old man to an ICU unit where he died 14 days later ... according to a police report obtained by TMZ Sports.

The driver of the other car -- the wife of the victim -- told cops she was approaching an intersection westbound in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on June 9 when Venus' northbound
Mercedes Benz SUV suddenly darted into the intersection. The other driver says there was no time to stop and she T-boned Venus' vehicle.

Venus told cops she was trying to make it through the intersection but there was a traffic backup and she had to slow down to a crawl, with her
Mercedes Benz SUV exposed in the intersection.

The driver's husband, Jerome Barson, suffered head trauma and was taken to a hospital and placed in ICU. He never recovered and died 2 weeks later. Barson's wife was also taken to the hospital with broken bones and other injuries, but survived ... according to her attorney Michael Steinger.

Cops say Venus caused the accident. According to the police report, "[Venus] is at fault for violating the right of way of [the other driver]."   With the

Mercedes Benz SUV that she drives, she felt that she could push around other drivers.

Police say in the report there was no evidence Venus was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They also say there's no evidence she was distracted by an electronic device.

We reached out to Williams for comment -- so far, no word back.

John Anthony Lechiara, 51, of DuBois, is charged by state police with felony counts of arson, reckless burning or exploding, criminal mischief, and insurance fraud after accused of torching his Bowtie Auto auto repair shop last year in hopes of cashing in on the insurance payment

Charges bound to court in Reynoldsville arson, insurance fraud case

By Katie Weidenboerner
June 28, 2017

REYNOLDSVILLE, PA — A DuBois man accused of torching his auto repair shop last year in hopes of cashing in on the insurance payment remains in jail, his charges bound to a higher court.

John Anthony Lechiara, 51, of DuBois, is charged by state police with felony counts of arson, reckless burning or exploding, criminal mischief, and insurance fraud, as well as other misdemeanor charges.

District Judge David Inzana found prima facie evidence to hold those charges to a Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas following a nearly three hour long preliminary hearing Tuesday.

The Reynoldsville Fire Department responded to Bowtie Auto on 5 N. Fifth St., where Lechiara ran an auto repair shop, after a passerby called in the alarm around 8:46 p.m. May 11, 2016.

During his testimony Fire Chief Darrin Scolese said when the department arrived smoke was coming from all four sides of the building and it hung heavy in the streets of downtown.

According to past Courier-Express articles, the fire called for a second alarm which brought units from Sykesville, Fourth and Fifth Wards in DuBois and West Sandy Fire Co. tankers in Falls Creek. McCalmont, Sykesville and Knox Township responded to provide extra water.

Approximately 65 firefighters battled the blaze, which was contained within 40 minutes.

The building was unoccupied at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries. Damage was estimated at more than $100,000.

Once extinguished, Scolese called state police fire marshal Greg Agosti because the cause wasn’t “cut and dry.

“During the incident, I was notified by Officer (Bruce) Cramer of some kind of situation that happened during the daytime that could have led for it to be lit by somebody,” Scolese testified.

When Agosti took the stand, the red flags that led him to an arson determination were more numerous than just an afternoon tryst.

His investigation found that the fire had started in a small crawl space located in the subfloor of the garage. Agosti said shop rags were ignited there by someone.

When he canvassed the neighborhood for witnesses and information, he found a nearby business had a video surveillance system which showed Lechiara leaving the building and driving away in his car.

Approximately 23 minutes elapsed from the time Lechiara left the building until smoke started to fill the street.

“It wasn’t a fast moving fire,” Agosti said. “I felt that around the time when the fire would have been instituted was at the time Mr. Lechiara was there.”

Agosti said he looked into other theories, like Lechiara’s claims of spontaneous combustion of the shop rags and potential threats that had been made to him, but none of those panned out.

Lechiara’s insurance activity also spiked concerns.

Agosti said Lechiara had two insurance policies on the building at the time of the fire.


REYNOLDSVILLE, PA - Nearly a year after an auto-shop in Jefferson County caught fire, the man who owns it has been charged for setting it.

John Lechiara, 51, of DuBois, is facing multiple charges including arson, insurance fraud, criminal mischief, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct.

State police said the charges stem from a fire on May 4, 2016, around 8:46 p.m. at Bowtie Tires auto-shop on North 5th Street.

Police said that same day, Lechiara went to his insurance company asking to increase his coverage. But after being denied, police said he canceled his policy and switched to a new company.

Police said initially, Lechiara told them he left his business around 7:30 p.m. the night of the fire. But police said after reviewing video surveillance from the Exxon Gas Station located at the intersection of Main and 5th streets, they discovered Lechiara left around 8 p.m.

The video also showed smoke haze building in the neighborhood by 8:27 p.m. and that no one entered the structure after Lechiara departed, according to police.

Police also said Lechiara told them he was using a torch to fix a muffler before leaving the shop, but police said the fire started in a pre-existing hole in the floor.

According to court documents, Lechiara's business was struggling financially.

Police said months prior to the fire, PennDOT suspended his official safety inspector license from March through July of 2016. Police said the suspension would hamper business income.

Police said federal income tax records showed a net loss of $4,939 in 2014 and a net loss of $9,815 in 2015.

Lechiara is in the Jefferson County jail on $100,000 bail.


More than 8,000 firefighters across the West battled dozens of wildfires Thursday that forced thousands of local residents to pack up families, pets and personal treasures to flee the advancing blazes.

Thirty large fires were burning nearly 180,000 acres, the National Interagency Fire Center reported, as the region continued to pay a steep price for a recent, record-smashing heat wave that combined with low humidity and wind to create a perfect storm for wildfires.

More than 4,200 square miles have burned so far this year, almost the size of Connecticut and 30% more than 2016's year-to-date total.

In Arizona, the Goodwin Fire about 100 miles north of Phoenix was one of six large fires burning across the state. Dewey-Humboldt resident Terry Thompson squeezed five people, four dogs and two cats into a 2005 Jeep Liberty not long after his wife, Angie, picked up the phone to hear the recorded evacuation notice.

Like hundreds of others displaced or left on edge by the 21,000-acre wildfire, the Thompsons had to keep ahead of the blaze, which was listed as just 1% contained early Thursday.

"I'm still in shock," Terry Thompson said. Angie Thompson grabbed some keepsakes on their way out the door: "photos, photo albums, our safe. Oh, and baby shoes. Bronze baby shoes."

The fire center warned that for the next couple days the fire had a "high spread potential ... with southwest winds of 15-20 mph and gusts up to 30." Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency and said he would visit the area Thursday.

The fire follows more than a week of record-setting high temperatures across much of the West. Phoenix set a string of daily records last week and reached 119 degrees one day. Temps have eased, but summer remains summer — this week's daily highs have been a more seasonal 108 degrees.

The nation's largest fire, the Brian Head Fire, has been burning for almost two weeks in southwestern Utah, 250 miles south of Salt Lake City. The fire had consumed more than 50,000 acres early Thursday and was 10% contained.

There was good news for some locals when the town manager in Brian Head announced that the evacuation order put in place July 17 was scheduled to be lifted Friday — just in time for a holiday weekend celebration that won't include fireworks.

Some area communities won't be so lucky, but Brian Head Town Manager Bret Howser said power was restored and Internet and phone repairs were expected to be completed sometime Friday.

"We invite everybody to come share in our Independence Day celebrations, thank the brave firefighters, help our local businesses recover and see how beautiful Brian Head still is!" Howser said in a Facebook post.

The news was also brighter near Burbank, Calif., where scores of home were ordered evacuated Wednesday ahead of a small but fierce wildfire. Firefighters quickly gained control of the blaze, and the evacuation order was lifted hours later.


A series of wildfires is blazing across the Southwest as the chance of rain remains low amid a deadly heatwave.

Officials view the Brian Head Fire in Utah from near Brian Head Peak on June 23, 2017. (Credit: Utah Fire Info / Facebook)

Eighteen large fires are burning in the region, including six in Arizona, three in Utah, three in California, three in New Mexico and two in Nevada. One large wildfire is burning in Oregon. The two biggest of those are in southern Arizona and Utah.

Wildfires already have caused far more destruction than usual in the first half of 2017, meteorologist Haley Brink of the CNN Weather Center said. Almost 1 million more acres had burned by Thursday, compared with the 10-year average through June 22.

800 battle Arizona wildfire

The Frye Fire in southern Arizona covers nearly 30,000 acres and is only 10% contained, the forest service at Coronado National Forest said.

More than 800 personnel are battling the fire, which started on June 7. The Frye Fire is about 70 miles northeast of Tucson, the second-largest city in Arizona.

Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency Friday in Arizona to authorize the use of $200,000 of emergency funds to counter increased wildfire activity.

Since April, the state has experienced more than a dozen large wildfires “aided by high temperatures, winds, and available fuels,” his office said in a statement.

“We thank the many brave men and women who have stepped up and responded to wildfires around Arizona,” Ducey said. “I’m issuing today’s declaration to make sure they have every resource needed to do their jobs and protect our communities.”

The area near the fire is expecting temperatures in the triple digits through next Friday, with no sign of rain.

13 homes destroyed in Utah

In Utah, too, raging fires continue to blaze with little rain relief in sight.

Nine communities, including Brian Head, a ski town near the Dixie National Forest in the southern part of the state, have been evacuated, officials said. At least 13 homes and eight outbuildings have been destroyed in Brian Head, which is about 30 miles north of Zion National Park.

The massive Brian Head wildfire has grown to 33,000 acres and is just 5% contained, the Utah Division of Forestry said. More than 800 personnel are tending to the fire.

The fire started on June 17 and “grew very quickly through dense timber,” officials said.

Temperatures in Brian Head are expected to be fairly moderate, in the low 70s and upper 60s, through Friday, but no rain is in sight.

Other fires

Aside from those two major fires, 16 other active fires of lesser size blazed around the West.

In New Mexico, the Corral Fire reached about 17,000 acres and is burning with low to moderate intensity, according to New Mexico Fire Information.

And in central Oregon, the Rhoades Canyon fire grew to 14,000 acres but was 50% contained, according to CNN affiliate KTVZ.

Ideal Builders and Construction and its superintendent Fazal Hassan were suspended following the June 20 incident at 31-25 28th Road, where the Department of Buildings accused the company of "cutting corners" while building a third-story addition on an existing home.

New York City Suspends Contractor in Astoria Building Collapse That Trapped Workers

By Jeanmarie Evelly | June 28, 2017 6:12pm
A construction worker is carried out on a stretcher after being trapped under thousands of pounds of debris for nearly two hours on Tuesday, fire officials said. 
DNAinfo/Katie Honan

ASTORIA, NYC — The city has suspended the contractor and superintendent in charge of a work site where a construction collapse last week trapped and seriously injured three workers, officials announced Wednesday.

Ideal Builders and Construction and its superintendent Fazal Hassan were suspended following the June 20 incident at 31-25 28th Road, where the Department of Buildings accused the company of "cutting corners" while building a third-story addition on an existing home.

Officials say Hassan allowed crews to "improperly" load cinder blocks and other heavy equipment onto the newly built third floor, which wasn't stable enough to support the weight.

The floor collapsed, sending the materials crashing through the building's second and first floors, trapping and critically injuring three construction workers, including one man who was pinned under the debris for nearly two hours.

Officials say Hassan — the construction superintendent at the site, as well as at 10 other projects in the city — should have first had an engineer assess the third floor to make sure it was structurally sound.

The DOB is in the process of shutting down work at more than 60 construction sites that Hassan is associated with, according to a spokesman.

While this was the first injury reported at one of Hassan's sites, he and Ideal Builders and Construction have racked up 14 public-safety-related violations over the last two years, officials said.

"Mr. Hassan and his firm neglected their duties on this and other construction sites and showed disregard for the lives of workers and the public," DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler said in a statement.

"Bad actors in the construction industry need to get the message: the City will not tolerate those who endanger people’s lives."

Calls to Ideal Builders and Construction went unanswered Wednesday, and the company's phone number did not have a voicemail activated.

The length of his suspension will be determined by a hearing with the city's Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), the spokesman said.


QUEENS, NYC — Three construction workers were seriously injured — with one trapped for nearly two hours — as thousands of pounds of construction material fell from the roof of a building and crashed through an Astoria home Tuesday afternoon, the FDNY said.

Construction materials, including laminated beams and bags of cement, were lifted by a boom crane to the roof of the two-story building at 31-25 28th Road, according to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

But they were too heavy for the roof, collapsing it and trapping three men working inside, he said.

Fire officials were called to the house at around 3:41 p.m. and found that a 37-year-old construction worker had removed himself from the building soon after the collapse.

A 40-year-old worker was briefly trapped but was removed early in the rescue operation, Nigro said.

But a 28-year-old worker remained trapped under thousands of pounds of construction material for nearly two hours as firefighters, rescue medics and the NYPD's Emergency Services Unit tried to get him out.

Rescuers crawled through the collapsed home to stabilize the trapped worker as other firefighters began digging a trench to get him out, Nigro said

His legs were trapped under the thousands of pounds of materials, and he was kept conscious throughout his removal.

"Rescue medics that work here are able to do things that no one else can do," the fire commissioner said.

"They crawled in there, they administered IV drugs for a crushing injury and pain relief, and kept this person stable as our members dug out these few thousand pounds of material to get this gentleman out."

The worker was finally removed just after 5:30 p.m. and taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition, according to the FDNY.

The other two workers were taken earlier to Elmhurst Hospital and also listed in critical condition.

The NYPD was using search-and-rescue dogs to conduct a secondary search for more victims, although it's believed everyone was out of the site, an official said.

Timothy Hogan, the Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement for the Department of Buildings, said the owners of the home had proper permits to build a third-story addition. But construction materials are supposed to be delivered to the ground level, not the roof, he said.

"If materials are delivered to an upper level, it's supposed to have been reviewed by an engineer to make sure the structure they are putting the materials on can handle the weight," he said.

They are currently investigating if the home's owners had this approval.

The owners could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Neighbor Irene Sanitate, 67, said crews have been working on the home for about two months and were loudly drilling against her wall Tuesday morning.

A few hours later she heard the material fall.

"We were upstairs. It was a big, really loud noise," said Sanitate, who has lived on the block since 1970. "And then a lot of dust."

The neighbor added that she was worried about construction material being placed on the roof.

"The house is old, and when I saw all that material on the roof from day one, I said it's too much weight," Sanitate said. "That was my concern. A lot of cinderblock."