Safety violations found in homes owned by landlord of house destroyed by fatal fire


FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Several properties owned by the landlord of a Westport home involved in a fatal fire underwent safety inspections recently.

Eyewitness News has learned that missing smoke detectors were just one of the problems uncovered in other homes owned by Donna Silvia. She and her husband Dennis also own the home where a fire claimed the life of a little boy last month.

Caleb Nardolillo, 4, died on Dec. 19 after flames broke out in his Mount Pleasant Street home. His mom, Melody, and her daughter escaped the fire with injuries.

According to the Fall River Herald, an anonymous letter tipped off city officials to violations in four of Silvia’s other properties. Safety officials inspected each of those homes last week.

Documents obtained by Eyewitness News show officials found smoke detectors in stairwells of a home on Mott Avenue were not communicating with each other.

In other homes on Plymouth and Highland Avenues, there were no hard-wired smoke detectors in certain areas of the homes. There also wasn’t a second exit from the third floor of the Plymouth Avenue home.

According to the building inspector’s office, the problems were either fixed last week or are in the process of being corrected.

Eyewitness News reached out to Silvia for comment, but she could not be reached.

The Massachusetts fire marshal’s office has yet to say if missing or defective smoke detectors played a role in the fire that claimed the life of Caleb Nardolillo. That investigation is still underway.

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