[UPDATE, Jan. 24, 2018] On Jan. 16, 2018, charges were dropped against the contractor, Declan Mcelhatton, following an investigation, because the Queens District Attorney’s office said it was not able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Below is the original report.
ELMHURST, Queens — A contractor has been charged in connection with the massive fire that ripped through a Queens apartment building Tuesday night, injuring 13 people.
Declan Mcelhatton, 53, of Maintenance Asset Management in Yonkers, is charged with arson and reckless endangerment.
According to the FDNY, the cause of the 5-alarm blaze was open flame in close proximity to combustibles.
The blaze started around 6:30 p.m. at a multi-story building at 94th Street and 57th Avenue in the Elmhurst section of Queens.
Red Cross deployed multiple teams to the scene for support. At least 112 units were evacuated, but it is not known how many people were displaced.