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Rally for change held after malfunctioning radiator leads to death of young Brooklyn boy

Brooklyn family calling for change after a malfunctioning radiator led to the death of baby
Brooklyn family calling for change after a malfunctioning radiator led to the death of baby 03:01

NEW YORK -- A rally was held Wednesday to change the way the city inspects a piece of equipment found in many city apartments.

This after tragedy struck in January for a Brooklyn family after a malfunctioning radiator lead to the death of their 11-month-old boy.

The rally came days after the parents bravely shared with CBS New York their heartbreaking story. Councilwoman Farah Louis is now drafting legislation that would require inspections of those radiators.

CBS New York spoke with her and the family on Wednesday afternoon.

An emotional Alex and Bessie Kuravsky was joined by family and friends on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall after they endured the unthinkable on Jan. 19. Inside their East 14th Street apartment in Midwood, they found their 11-month-old son, Binyomin Zachariah, unconscious in a room full of steam.

They say the radiator malfunctioned.

"We do not want anybody else to suffer," Bessie Kuravsky said.

Binyomin was pronounced dead at Maimonides Medical Center. The medical examiner said he died of steam inhalation and thermal burns.

The Department of Buildings said it was a problem with a connection to the valve of the radiator.

The family said their neighbors are living in fear.

"I've spoken to two different tenants that told me their radiator is leaking now to the point where their floor is corroded," Alex Kuravsky said.

New York City law requires landlords hire a company to inspect boilers annually, but there is now law requiring the periodic inspection of radiators.

Councilwoman Louis is drafting legislation that would change that.

"Ultimately, we want to require every building to get inspected for radiators," Louis said. "The bill that we put in place was to to make sure if it's a unit, definitely children under 5 it should definitely be inspected."

The family is calling on the DOB to inspect radiators and for the city to come down harder on landlords.

"Just because we lived in a rent-controlled apartment building that had cheaper rent it doesn't mean that his life and lives of people who live in rent-controlled buildings should be considered cheap," Bessie Kuravsky said.

A DOB spokesperson told CBS New York, in part, "The Department of Buildings strongly urges landlords to invest in the proper upkeep of their properties to avoid a catastrophic incident like the tragic death earlier this year in Midwood."

The landlord, RPDG LLC., has not returned our multiple requests for comment.

The DOB did issue violations to the landlord and a hearing is scheduled for March 27. The family said they hope to be there.

Penalties could result in fines of more than $60,000.

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