Lorain illegal salvage operation shutdown, owner arrested on code violations

Posted at 5:08 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 23:32:41-04

Dangerous code violations led to the arrest of a Lorain property owner.

Joseph Burda was hit with nine city code violations after he was found to be running an illegal indoor salvage operation.

He was arrested and could face up to 30 days in jail for each citation.

Burda's building is just a stone's throw from residential proprieties.  

"The is a firefighter killer. If this caught on fire without us knowing what was inside, could have been a real danger," Lorain Fire Marshal and Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Homolya said. 

The Fire Marshal told News 5 he hopes people showed up to clean up the mess inside. 

"Part of the effort is allowing them to clean out the business," he said. 

Homolya said there are hundreds of cars inside, trash, and oils. 

"Deplorable condition! Electrical outlets exposed to water. Spilled fuel and oils," he said. But the 9 code and stack of EPA violations are just the start of it. 

He said all of the violations present a real danger to the people who live nearby.

"The whole reason we do our jobs is to protect the citizens and if this place has caught on fire, with everything going on in there, that could have very easily happened. I'm surprised it hasn't happened," he said.