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Mount Vernon Fire Department Shuts Down Illegal Underground Social Club

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas released video of the sting operation to shut down a club under a laundromat.
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas released video of the sting operation to shut down a club under a laundromat. Video Credit: Mayor Richard Thomas

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - The Mount Vernon Fire Department shut down an “illegal social” club that posed a fire hazard underneath a populated apartment complex and laundromat.

The Mount Vernon Fire Department shut down the club, located at 257 W. 1st St., after receiving an anonymous tip on Friday regarding the operation, which included a full-service bar and waitresses located in the basement and posed a major fire hazard in the heart of the city.

During the sting, fire officials said they found nearly a dozen infractions at the premises, and the underground location only had one way of egress, no fire extinguishers, smoke or Carbon Monoxide detectors. The woman running the operation also had no Certificate of Tenancy.

Next to the bar area, officials said they found a large pile of debris and trash that was highly combustible and the ceiling had exposed insulation and no sheetrock, posing another fire hazard. The only window on the stairwell had a gate over it and the entire staircase was being held together by a 2x4.

Members of the Police Department confiscated the alcohol, and the Building Department shut down the illegal operation after finding additional violations. Officials noted that if a fire were to break out in the small club, it would pose a massive threat both to the patrons and the two dozen residents living above them.

“This place is a danger,” Mount Vernon Fire Commissioner Teddy Beale said. “I’m very happy we were able to shut it down tonight in an orderly manner and make it safe for the residents that live in this building.”

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