Brick wall, watch it fall: DOB hits Bensonhurst funeral home with violation after roof collapse

wall collapse at bensonhurst funeral home
The DOB issued a failure to maintain violation to Miraglia funeral home in Bensonhurst after part of their wall collapse onto the street.
Photo courtesy of NYC DOB

The Department of Buildings has issued a violation to a Bensonhurst funeral home after part of the building’s exterior wall and roof collapsed onto the sidewalk.

DOB inspectors reported a partial facade collapse at Miraglia Funeral Chapels at 8519 New Utrecht Ave. on April 12 after part of the building’s parapet gave out, littering the walkway beneath the D train tracks with bricks and other debris. 

According to a department spokesperson, the inspectors hit the owner with a violation for failing to maintain the building, and issued a Full Vacate order on the property — deeming it unsafe for people to enter. An Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings hearing is scheduled for June.

collapsed wall on funeral home
Inspectors noted the collapsed section of parapet wall measured roughly 8 feet tall and 60 feet long. Photo courtesy of NYC DOB

The agency also ordered the building owner to hire a New York State certified professional engineer to submit a report of the building’s condition within the next 30 days. DOB engineers will then follow up with the business once the hired engineers submit their report to the agency.  There were no previous complaints issued to the Bensonhurst building that would indicate structural instability in the wall or elsewhere in the building, according to the DOB.  

Owners of the business declined to comment on the incident in order to “value their privacy,” but said the most important factor is that one was hurt. DOB confirmed no injuries have been reported. The family-run funeral home has been in the neighborhood for generations, according to a Miraglia employee. They are currently coordinating debris cleanup at the site and have reached out to a contractor for further support on making the building safe.

Engineers from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority also reported to the scene since the funeral home sits underneath the elevated D train. According to an MTA spokesperson, it is standard procedure for the department to investigate the surrounding structure of a station following any type of collapse.

funeral home wall collapse
Building owners now have to hire a professional engineer to submit a report on the building’s conditions. Photo courtesy of NYC DOB

“Whenever something like that happens, especially a building collapse which is pretty serious, they’ll always have engineers go to elevated stations or underneath to make sure everything is okay,” the rep told Brooklyn Paper. 

After running a test train, MTA cleared the station and there are no current service delays. The funeral home’s location beneath a train station is not likely to be the cause of the collapse, the rep said.