Town raids overcrowded homes in Flanders & Northampton

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | 90 Maple Avenue in Flanders

Southampton code enforcers raided cockroach-infested and overcrowded Flanders and Northampton houses Thursday, where they found a lack of smoke detectors, low ceilings and in one of the houses an entire family living in one bedroom, authorities said.

Authorities first executed a search warrant at 90 Maple Avenue in Flanders — owned by Salvador and Angela Aquino — and found five unrelated people living in an illegal basement apartment. The apartment had a kitchen, lacked emergency escape windows and a carbon monoxide detector and had a ceiling height below the minimum 7’6” as required by code, investigators said. It was also infected with cockroaches, said the town’s chief code enforcement investigator, David Betts.

In total, 11 people were living in the house, including the Aquinos’ son. Mr. and Ms. Aquino were charged with 24 code violations.

Shortly after, investigators raided 40 Pine Court in Northampton and found 16 people, including an entire family that lived in a single bedroom, living there.

40 Pine Court in Northampton

The living room was made into a bedroom and the lower level converted to a complete two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen.

“Situations like these, where we are dealing with utterly irresponsible landlords and tenants, are why strong code enforcement is essential,” said Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.

Mr. Betts said his department was alerted to the Flanders home after a code enforcement officer noticed modified doors and windows near the basement.

Town police alerted code enforcement of overcrowding at the Northampton home.

The tenants were not immediately forced to leave the properties.

[email protected]

Looking to comment on this article? Send us a letter to the editor instead.