By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,283)
Reports in the local press surrounding the death of Donnie Stain, 54, at 563 Cumberland Avenue are incorrect a representative of the property owner told mhn.com in a telephone conversation late this afternoon. Stain, a seventeen year resident, of the building, fell to his death from a second floor balcony when the railing gave way as he stood out there smoking a cigarette recently.
The landlord, Harry Krigman, has never received a deadline by which he must dismantle the balconies according to the representative. She did not know where the deadline of May 8th came from as reported in local media, but she said Krigman never received that information. Removing those balconies from the back of the building is complicated and cannot be done quickly she said. “It’s a process,” she said. Krigman is working with the Portland Fire Department and the city’s code inspectors right now to implement that process. The doors to the balcony from each unit have to be sealed first. They also need to be waterproofed as well to insure that there is no leakage into the building. That work has to be done from the balconies so they can’t be torn down until that work is completed. Tenants need to be given ample notice of the dismantling of the balconies because there is a parking lot directly beneath them. A permit is required before the above work can begin.
But, the city says differently. “We attempted to hand deliver to Mr. Krigman and also sent the violation notice via certified mail. We also distributed copies of the letter to the tenants. I can’t comment on whether or not Mr Krigman has actually seen it, but we’ve done our due diligence in getting to him. We will be back out on May 8th to re-evaluate the property and will take further action if progress has not been initiated,” according to a press release issued by Jessica Grondin, director of communications for the city of Portland.
If progress has not been initiated, there will be a penalty of some kind against Mr Krigman, although Grondin so far has not said what that penalty might be. In a second email, Ms. Grondin said: “the porches don’t have to be gone..they either have to be repaired properly or removed. Progress can even be just a plan submitted to us showing what action they plan to take.”
Legal notices placed on the front door and the back door previously by the city were noted missing from both locations.
Relatives and others have maintained that Stain complained to the landlord repeatedly that he was concerned about the condition of the balconies, although they have offered no proof to that effect. Krigman’s representative said that no such conversations ever took place. “Krigman is one of the most caring landlords I’ve ever seen,” said the source. “One of his greatest concerns was the safety of the building. He did not tolerate any drug related activities in the building.”