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Fines piled up for site of scaffold collapse


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POSTED: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The city received more than 20 complaints about the makeshift housing maze of lumber, cardboard, pipes and tarpaulins in Kalihi that collapsed Sunday, leaving more than 50 people homeless.

;[Preview] Landlord Of Collapsed Structure Faces Large Building Fines
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The multi story metal pipe scaffodd that tumbled into Kalihi stream was on the verge of city foreclosure after landlord Daniel Cunnighma accumulated thousands in building fines.

 

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The rubble at 1732 Gulick Ave. is considered unsafe, and tenants were not permitted to return yesterday, according to a city spokesman. No one was hurt when the scaffolding structure fell apart at about 7:30 p.m. after a day of heavy rainfall.

 

The city has taken steps to foreclose on the property after landowners failed to respond to citations for the illegal construction, said Henry Eng, director of Department of Planning and Permitting.

The city has levied fines totaling $53,000 for violations at the site, he said.Eng said the property owner must assume responsibility for escorting former occupants into the site to remove their belongings.

He said a house at the site did not appear to be damaged.

George Jenkins and Loida and Grace Santos are owners of the 6,000-square-foot property, according to city real property records. They could not be reached for comment.

Daniel Cunningham, an unsuccessful mayoral candidate during the primary election, said he managed the property for the owner. He said he rented out rooms to people but could not say how many people lived on the premises.

Cunningham said the 20-by-40-foot area of scaffolding and tarps that collapsed was going to be used for storage.

There were 53 people living on the property, said Maria Lutz, of the American Red Cross, which opened an emergency shelter at the Kalihi Valley District Park recreation center. Twenty-one people, all adults, spent Sunday night in the shelter, which remains open.

One female resident said she paid $500 a month rent for herself and her son, 3.