Recovering seniors don't feel safe

Report by Mika Highsmith - email | bio
Posted by LS

TOLEDO (WTOL) - A fire in February sparked the sprinkler system at a downtown apartment complex, leaving many residents worried about their health.

They live in the Alpha Towers on the 500 block of Woodruff where crews are still in the process of cleaning up. Though tenants have remained in their units, and they're turning to Mika to see if their safe.

Anita Bibb can get in, but take a look around and you'll see why this is no longer her apartment. "I was home. It was raining in my kitchen. Pure rain."

It happened on February 11 when a fire on the fourth floor triggered the sprinkler systems, creating massive water damage. From the ceiling to the walls, the furniture, television, everything was damaged. The drywall has all been removed.

Yet Bibb tells us, "I had to really argue to get moved out of this apartment."

She can't say the same for the other affected tenants -- all senior citizens -- who still live inside their damaged apartments.

Joe is bothered by the cosmetic issues, such as his lights not working, but he's more concerned with his health. He doesn't know if he's at risk living in those conditions.

Mika asked, "How long did they tell you it would take to fix?"

"They didn't tell me anything."

Mika spoke with management, and they say they have followed protocol and that the building is safe. Contractors are working on fixing things now, and it will be done as quickly as possible. To be sure, she also called the Health Department. They had no idea what was going on until she told them, so they went out. They say, yes the building is safe. It's not pretty, but safe.