Landlord cited for running illegal lodging house after fire that killed BU student
The owner of the Allston building where a Boston University student died in a fire this weekend was cited today for operating an illegal rooming house because she allegedly allowed 19 people to live in a two-family home.
Anna Belokurova was also cited for failing to obtain proper permits before creating bedrooms in the basement of the building at 87 Linden St., where a three-alarm fire Sunday killed Binland Lee, a 22-year-old BU marine sciences student from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Belokurova, a Newton resident, was also ordered to secure the remnants of the charred three-story building immediately, according to documents released this afternoon by the city’s Inspectional Services Department.
The cause of the fire, which broke out at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, remains under investigation.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley has assigned a prosecutor to the death investigation, which is standard procedure in such cases.
“We investigate every unattended death to determine whether charges are warranted against any person in any capacity,” Conley said.
“This case is no exception. We’re not prejudging the case, and the probe is in its very early stages. We’ll follow the evidence wherever it leads, and we’ll apply the law fairly to the facts before we make a charging decision,” he said.
A city ordinance also says that no more than four unrelated undergraduate students are permitted to live in a dwelling, while authorities say that at least six of the 19 residents were BU students.
ISD inspectors examined the building Monday and issued the citations today.
The city last inspected the building in 1992 when it approved a prior owner’s plan to convert a single-family home into a two-family. Those modifications included a firewall that closed the internal stairway between the first and second floors, creating a maze-like path from one story to another, interrupted by a steel door that served as a divider between the units, the Globe reported today.Brian Ballou can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @globeballou.