City and Housing Commission at odds over fatal fire

Posted: 8:49 AM, Jun 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-12 09:40:15-04
Home that caught fire failed inspection
Home that caught fire failed inspection

UPDATE: Lansing Mayor Andy Schor held a news conference to announce that the Laroy Froh Townhome on REO Road failed a city inspection in 2016, and that the Housing Commission failed to respond with a plan to get the property up to code.

Monday night the Housing Commission Board Chairman Tony Baltimore told FOX 47 that that is not the case, and that the property passed a federal inspection in October of 2017. He says that the city and the Housing Commission are not on the same page, and that he has not been contacted by any city official, including the Mayor.

Baltimore says he will push for a full inspection of all federally subsidized and city owned units immediately, and welcomes the Fire Departments full report on what caused the fatal fire that claimed the lives of a mother and her young son last Thursday.

Original Story Below:


The fire that killed a woman and her young son last Thursday happened in a townhome that passed a federal inspection, but not the city's.

"It references electrical in the report, and that is a concern for me, so that's something that is going to be addressed immediately," Mayor Andy Schor said.

The violations range from damaged outlets in the bedroom to an unapproved water heater and furnace. The Lansing Housing Commission manages the property and was informed of the violations following an inspection in 2016. Mayor Andy Schor's administration says the Housing Commission was supposed to respond with a plan to get the property up to code.

"We don't have evidence that that was received," Brian McGrain, Director of Economic Development and Planning said.

Another notice was sent in June 2016. Still no response.

"There had been some things that I don't think were done correctly, and again with the Lansing Housing Commission having so many units...we need to do better," McGrain said.

Mayor Schor says he doesn't want people living in homes that aren't up to code. But he told News 10 the city can't shut the complex down because there's nowhere else to put the tenants. Instead he's ordering a new round of inspections.

"Closing down the building creates many many many more homeless. We expect people to be in these properties and we expect them to be safe," Schor said.

The inspections should take around three months. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.