Water damage leads to condemnation of apartment building, displaces tenants

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by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on June 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 21 at 11:43 PM

NORFOLK -- Officials condemned an eight-unit apartment building on Willoughby Spit Saturday morning after they determined that water damage from rain made it uninhabitable.

A fire department spokesman said fire units were called out to the building in the 1200 block of Little Bay Avenue after part of the roof collapsed.

After assessing the damage, crews called building officials whoe made the decision to condemn the apartments.

The building was in the process of having the roof repaired. Areas of it were open Thursday when storms approached. Work crews covered the exposed areas of the roof with tarps in an effort to keep water out. Friday into Saturday more rain moved through Norfolk. Water got into the building, causing drywall to become saturated and give way.

"I see it leaking, and all of a sudden, boom, it all fell," explained Kresensia Olter, whose mother's ceiling fall apart next to her.

The City of Norfolk condemned the building because water had seeped into the electrical system, according to a building code violation posted outside.

According to city records, Ronnie and Judy Boone own the building. The records indicate that there are no building permits associated with the property currently. In a phone conversation, Ronnie Boone told 13News Now that the work was so minor, it did not require a permit.

Boone said he considered the damage to be, "very minor."

Some of his tenants disagree.

"I don't think it's minor because a man had a roof collapse on his head. He could've died," said Brandi Thomas who lives on the first floor.

Boone already is facing scrutiny from the city because of three other properties that have had work performed on them without proper permits. He also faced legal action in the past regarding zoning violations.

The condemnation displaced 12 people, and the American Red Cross is providing them with assistance.

The building will require significant repairs before it can be occupied again.

Boone says he has offered to help relocate tenants.



 

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