For the third time in a month, a fire in Queens turned out much worse than it had to be because of an outdated building feature: the cockloft.

On March 4 a Jackson Heights fire damaged six businesses. Last Saturday a Queens Village blaze trashed three shops. Then on Tuesday a Jackson Heights apartment house fire displaced more than 300 people. Each fire spread through the cockloft, the space between the ceiling and roof of older buildings.

State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. has for years sponsored a bill that would give owners a tax credit to seal up cocklofts to thwart fires. New Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar is carrying the companion in the lower house. It’s high time the Assembly join the Senate in passing this simple, common-sense, potentially lifesaving legislation.

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