City issues vacate order for East NY building after deadly fire

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EAST NEW YORK -

The city has posted full vacate orders for 964 Belmont Ave. in East New York after a fire there killed two people and displaced more than a dozen families.

The Department of Buildings says that even though the apartment building is not in imminent danger of collapse, its inspectors found that extensive fire and water damage have made it unsafe for tenants to return right now.

Officials say the fire was started by an unattended electric heater. There was a smoke alarm present, but it wasn't working. Officials say smoke alarms should be placed near where a person is sleeping and that their batteries should be changed twice yearly.

The city says tenants will be able to return home once the repairs have been completed and the building is deemed safe. There's no word yet on when that could happen.

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