NBC 10 I-Team: House destroyed in fatal fire was being condemned
The city of Providence was in the process of condemning a house in Olneyville that was one of three destroyed in a fire that killed a woman during the weekend.
The NBC 10 I-Team uncovered a history of code violations at 110 Bowdoin St. dating back to 2006.
"House is a mess," an inspector wrote five days ago about the triple-decker. "No heat in house, no running water ... Occupants were running space heaters, numerous propane torches throughout."
In June 2015, property owner Dexter Jackson was cited because the entire building had no electricity, heat or running water. The violations were later listed as "abated."
In February 2017, Jackson got a second notice to fix problems within 30 days. The city put a lien on property and was charging him $150 a day in fines.
But records show the property was again without heat, power or running water last week.
The fire destroyed adjacent houses at 106-108, 110 and 114 Bowdoin St. early Saturday morning. Only the foundation of 110 Bowdoin St. remained after the fire and multiple people were displaced.
A body of a woman was found Monday morning in the rubble of 110 Bowdoin, with the state medical examiner removing her remains from the home. Relatives and friends told NBC 10 the woman is Lucy Feliciano, however, authorities have not officially confirmed the identification.
"We care for Lucy, we love Lucy. It’s just horrible this had to happen," Feliciano’s close friend, Barbara Calderon, said.
Several people were treated for breathing in smoke at the scene. Roland Colpitts was among them, adding that the tragedy could have been prevented.
"It's been numerous violations. They should've been here six months ago," Colpitts said.
Colpitts spoke to NBC 10 just after he escaped the fire. He said he called the city multiple times about dangerous conditions, especially electrical problems.
"The circuit breakers were glowing red," he said. "That's how wrong the electricity was in this house."
But despite multiple dangers, residents were allowed to stay.
"They should've just shut it down and found a place for the residents to go. This wouldn't have happened," Colpitts said. "I went through all the proper channels, reported it to all the proper people, and nothing was done. Now, everything is lost. Everything, everything is gone. I'm mad. I'm mad that nothing was done, and I went through all the proper channels to try to report this."
Meanwhile, Calderon said she knew something was wrong when Feliciano didn’t answer her phone in the hours following the fire.
"I knew in the morning she’d called me but she didn’t," Calderon said. "I remember one day she called me and asked me to look for a place for her to live because there was no heat, no hot water -- there was nothing."
A GoFundMe account has been set up for a couple who was displaced by the fire.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Jackson told NBC 10 he has no comment regarding the fire.