BREAKING: Meth Lab Bldg Had Serious Fire Safety Violations

left: Violation Notice issued to HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia on 2/5/13, top right: 501 Marshall Drive, location of meth lab bot right: typical household ingredients used to make meth

Simply stunning.  GA has discovered that 501 Marshall Drive, the HHA building that housed a meth lab, was cited for dangerous fire safety code violations last February.That's when a Hoboken Fire Marshall found that 501 Marshall Drive had no working generator to power it's fire suppression systems (in an emergency).

Like an exploding meth lab.

Meth lab explosion

Yes, meth labs do explode.  Often.  In 2004, there were 17,170 meth lab “incidents.”   

Even if they don't, they pose long-term health risks to other building residents through poisoned building structure, finishes, furniture and personal property.  According to an environmental remediation group:

The HHA Board must have 501 Marshall Drive tested for contamination. And if needed, remediate  the building for the health of its residents- including Beth Mason employee Matt Caliccho, a neighbor of the meth lab.

Perhaps the residents of this tainted building should consider themselves lucky- because they were living in a building NJ Fire Safety inspectors considered an "imminent hazard".

Here's the story, according to Hoboken Fire Chief Blohm's report to the administration.  

On Friday, February 1, 2013 Blohm received a call from the Acting Director of the NJ Division of Fire Safety, William Kramer.  Kramer told him that inspectors had been at the HHA the previous day, and:
"Mr. Kramer went on to say that there were several buildings that had no backup generator power, that fire pumps had been removed from various buildings and that fire alarm panels had their "guts" removed and he was not sure that permits had been taken out to do so.

He specifically said to me that if it were not for the volume of residents that would be displaced he would deem all of those buildings as imminent hazards." 
Kramer told Blohm to apprise the mayor immediately, which he did.  Then Blohm dispatched Fire Marshall Captain Dave Buoncuore to the HHA.

That Sunday, February 3, 2013 Blohm reported to the administration that "the HHA was up and running" and fire watches were ended.

On February 5, 2013 HHA ED Carmelo Garcia was slapped with a Notice of Violation citing that he had "failed obtain the proper Building Permits for all the City of Hoboken housing buildings that were damaged by the Super Storm Sandy: electrical wiring, panels, switch gear, motors, motor controls, fire system and fire panels, fire pumps and any building structures"

Then on February 14, 2013 Chief Blohm appeared at the HHA to deliver his findings to the HHA Commissioners. There the public learned the stunning news:  6 HHA buildings were without properly functioning generators.

What do building generators do in a fire?  They power emergency lighting, exits signs, alarms, electric motor pumps for sprinklers.

One of the buildings with NO GENERATOR was 501 Marshall Drive, where the 5th floor meth lab found by police on Monday. 

Imagine the carnage if there HAD been a meth lab fire or explosion, in a building without a working generator.   

The warning signs of a meth lab are:
And nobody knew?     


  1. Carmelo's legacy - acrid piss smells in the HHA stairwells, imminent fire hazards, meth labs, shady contracts, no transparency, no-shows, etc. Stack will have his hands full with this loser.

  2. We have a few people we help at the HHA they say things are still not working in buildings. The Hoboken Building Dept,Mayor and Counsel need to get over there to check things out.

    1. What types of things have you heard aren't working, Anon?

  3. Whomever is running the HHA in this manner, would be a perfect candidate to run the state.

    Great idea!

    Stack is brilliant.

  4. If this were a single family dwelling, the toxic chemicals in a meth lab would make it permanently uninhabitable. They seep into the walls, floors, ceiling. I don't know what you can do with an apartment that was used for this.

    1. Yes, it's true. 501 Marshall Drive should tested immediately and levels of contamination assesed.

    2. Carmelo will "improve" it to the tune of 350k

  5. First the idea Carmelo will improve this unit at a cost of 350K is entirely misplaced. The floors in the meth lab will be replaced at 350K. The ceiling will be replaced at the cost of 350K and the walls will be replaced for another 350K.

    Welcome to the HHA's new Million Dollar Apartment. Carmelo will be cutting the ribbon at that ceremony and the picture will be shown a dozen times in the HHA newsletter.

  6. The fire Chief is creditable ?

  7. Drive by Jackson street and look at the generators " they must really be working great" maybe back in 60's . The smell of urine in the hallway and elevators too.


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