Vacant Boston Building Burns Again, Owner to Appear in Court

A blighted Roxbury complex – which two years ago was engulfed in a notorious conflagration that threatened the lives of firefighters and seized the attention of the mayor – burst into flame again Wednesday night, still filled with trash and squatters and still apparently immune from the city’s Inspectional Services Department.

City officials have slapped Candeloro Maggio – the owner of the vacant building at 31 Norfolk Ave. that caught fire Wednesday – with more than $9,000 in fines over the past two years. The city will haul him into court next week to face charges he’s a ‘nuisance’ property owner, officials said.

‘We’ve been chasing this guy around for a while,’ said Brian Glascock, interim commissioner of the city’s Inspectional Services Department. ‘We’ll try to put the pressure on him to do something with it.’

In addition to owning the building that burned this week, Maggio was the owner of neighboring 57 Norfolk Ave., a deathtrap that was reduced to rubble in a nine-alarm inferno that firefighters narrowly escaped in August 2010. That blaze was caused by fireworks launched by tenants living illegally at 31 Norfolk Ave., officials said. The 2010 fire spurred Mayor Thomas M. Menino to create a task force that identified 147 abandoned properties that posed a public danger.

Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said the Norfolk Avenue building was on a list of dangerous buildings. The department updates its list quarterly.

‘As long as they’re secure and locked up, there’s not much we can do but put them in a database and make sure firefighters are aware of them,’ MacDonald said.

The city plans to ask a housing court judge next week to order Maggio to clean up 31 Norfolk Ave. or face more penalties.

‘The city of Boston continues to use every legal lever we have to go after these landlords who fail to maintain their buildings,’ Menino said. ‘It’s not a fast process, but it’s constant and we will continue to apply pressure.’

Glascock said the city has not been able to reach Maggio and believe he is out of the country. Maggio did not return messages last night.

City records also show Maggio owes more than $50,000 in back taxes for four industrial properties.

Asked whether the city could seize the property for unpaid taxes or violations, Glascock said: ‘That’s not our first choice to go around taking private property. But when people aren’t paying their taxes or addressing quality-of-life issues, we may have no choice.’

Maggio, owner of a $621,000 house in Windham, N.H., told the Herald in 2010 that he planned to ‘do nothing’ to fix up his blighted properties.

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