Residents Scramble After At SLC Apartment Building Deemed Unsafe
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Tenants at a Salt Lake City apartment building in must find a new place to live after the fire marshal deemed the building unsafe.
The Salt Lake City fire marshal deemed the Georgia Apartments at 200 East and 2100 South unsafe and issued a red tag status on the complex Monday morning.
About 30 individuals and families will now have to find a new place to live before Thursday.
“This is a result of repeated, and unheeded requests by Salt Lake City Fire Department to the property owner, to bring the building up to fire code,” said Fire Division Chief Ryan Mellor. “These violations result in extreme fire danger potential, to all occupants in this building.”
The red tag order is not an eviction, but rather an evacuation for safety reasons. According to city Fire Marshal Paul Paulsen, the safety violations include:
- Fire escapes that are not properly certified every five years.
- Electrical wiring that is not up to building code standards.
- Missing fire extinguishers.
- Missing smoke detectors.
- Obstructions to building exits.
Marshal Paulsen also said that because of broken windows and doors, and a failing heating system, the fire sprinkler system in the building was prone to freezing, which would keep them from deploying in the event of a fire.
Salt Lake City Fire Department puts a red tag, on Georgia Apartments, near 2100 South and State streets. Says building is unsafe for tenants. Everyone has 72 hours to get out. Why it's happening, and how residents are responding, on @KSL5TV at 5&6:30pm. pic.twitter.com/zs1I9GLPOU
— Mike Anderson (@mikeandersonKSL) February 11, 2019
Ultimately, he said a fire in the building could turn disastrous.
“These violations result in extreme fire danger potential, to all occupants in this building,” Paulsen said.
Michael Cousert has lived in the home for 15 years. He believes the landlord was not to blame for a large part of the problems.
“Our problem is the homeless,” Cousert said. “We’ve got so much problem with the homeless people, coming around, breaking windows, tearing the place up, breaking into apartments.”
Cousert was not sure where he’ll go.
“I’m staying here for 72 hours, and between now and then hopefully, God will open something up, and somebody will come along,” he said.
Another tenant, Brant Carson also said he has nowhere to go.
“I don’t know. My parents are dead. I have no family, other than my brother-in-law – my ex brother-in-law,” Carson said.
The apartment manager did not want to comment, but said she is working to make repairs.
Tony Milner with the Salt Lake City Housing and Neighborhood Development said the city has set up a temporary office to help tenants get help with work, housing, and in some cases to get some of their rent and/or deposit money back.
“We’re really just throwing every type of housing resource that might be eligible to them at them at this time right now in their time of need,” Milner said. “All options are on the table, for types of housing situations, while they’re in this transition period right now.