The Lyndon Town Health officer will be re-inspecting a Main Street apartment building where a two-year-old boy was bitten by a dog and seriously injured last week.
The child underwent surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. after being bitten by a male pit bull at 427 Main Street, Apt. 3 in Lyndonville.
The dog has since been euthanized with the consent of its owner – James Gingras.
According to town officials, Health Officer Deb Smith has previously inspected 427 Main St. but did not perform a follow-up inspection this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, Lyndon Select Board Chairman Chris Thompson said Smith now wants to re-inspect the property.
“It’s probably been at least a year now since her last inspection and there was still at least one item that was still not dealt with by the landlord,” said Thompson at the board’s regular meeting. “There’s one apartment that she has been refused access to – which we’re gonna have her try to access again just in case there are issues in that apartment that are endangering the rest of the people in the building.”
The board voted unanimously to approve the re-inspection.
Town officials gave no indication that the re-inspection request was related to last week’s dog bite incident.
Chairman Thompson said he could not recall which apartment the health officer had been denied access to previously.
“I don’t have that in front of me right now,” said Thompson.
The three-story, four-unit building is owned by Lyndon resident Frederick P. “Rick” Schwag.
In June of 2020, the Vermont State Fire Marshal’s Office inspected the building and found 22 violations of the fire safety code by the building’s landlord and tenants. Prior to that, Schwag was ticketed by Lyndonville police for violating the town’s household trash ordinance.
“There’s a long history with this building with health and safety, fire issues, stuff like that,” said Thompson.
On Tuesday, Feb. 9, just before 8 p.m., the child victim suffered severe neck and ear injuries after being bitten by the dog in the apartment.
According to investigators, the boy was one of six children ages 2-11 in the apartment along with four adults and two pit bulls until all four adults went to an upstairs room to reportedly smoke a cigarette together. The adults told police they went upstairs because they did not want to smoke around the children.
The adults returned after hearing a disturbance downstairs.
The injured child’s mother is identified as Crystal L. Nel, 24, who also lives in the apartment. But police said Nel was not in the apartment when the child was bitten.