November 16, 2013

Immediate action called for on burned building

PLATTSBURGH — The City of Plattsburgh building inspector says immediate action must be taken on the 15 Couch St. property that burned in September.

“We’ve ordered that this situation be dealt with,” said City of Plattsburgh Building Inspector Joseph McMahon. “I’m hearing that the building is likely to come down.”

That is not property owner Thomas Latinville’s only option, however, McMahon said, adding that he has been in constant contact with him.


An engineer who evaluated the structure told McMahon that while the building doesn’t necessarily pose a safety risk to the public now, it could in the near future, McMahon said.

“The engineer gave me relative assurance that nobody was in harm’s way (in the immediate future).”

However, the building is not stable.

“Structurally, the roof has been compromised, and that’s a concern,” McMahon said. “With winter approaching and the potential for snow being on the roof, it increases our level of concern.”

Latinville did not return three messages left by the Press-Republican.


At the Nov. 7 Plattsburgh City Common Council meeting, Andrew Golt, who lives next to the building, told councilors he is concerned about the structure being so close to his home.

Shards of broken glass and other debris rained down on his home, he said, and he wants the building torn down soon.

“I don’t want this burned-out hulk 18 inches from my property line,” Golt said.

He also complained about several pieces of furniture strewn about the yard.

“This needs to be moved along.”


SUNY Plattsburgh student Alexa Limato was severely injured in the fire, sustaining third-degree burns on 25 percent of her body, according to the online fundraising page Help Alexa Heal, where she and her family have been posting updates on her condition.

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