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Two Allied Drive Area Apartment Buildings Condemned

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

Shantya Dean has been living in an apartment building at 4602 Jenewein Road off Allied Drive for more than two years.

"I came home and the note was on the door," says Dean.

She came home Tuesday to find a red notice on her door telling her she's moving out Thursday, along with all the other residents of two apartment buildings.

The City of Fitchburg has condemned the buildings, after calling them, "unsafe, unsanitary, and uninhabitable."

"They're roach infested," says Fitchburg Building Inspector Jack Pearson. He says the city has done everything they can to get the owners to fix things up. "We've written violations, tickets, we've warned and you can't change a light bulb so that's where we're at with that situation."

Pearson points out holes on the outside of the building that let in squirrels and other pests, and holes on the inside.

But if you think that's bad, Shantya wants to show you her apartment. "I got mold on the side of this wall."

She's had standing water in her hallway for months, and the ceiling leaks in her bathroom.

"When it rains it comes down pouring. When the toilet upstairs overflows it comes down pouring," says Dean.

MG&E cut off the gas, so Shantya has to boil water to bathe her three-week-old son.

"We haven't had hot water for two weeks now. My premature baby how am I supposed to give him a bath. I have to wipe him up with wipes. And I shouldn't have to do that."

Aside from the physical problems residents here have complained about drug dealing in the hallway and prostitution in the basement.

"People going in our basement turning tricks, somebody sleeping down there," says Dean.

"There's been an increase in police calls, fire calls, and building inspection calls. We've gotten to the point that there's only so much we can take from city resources," says Pearson.

Despite the squalor, Shantya isn't eager to move. She just wishes the owners would fix the place up. But the city says it's clear that won't happen, so Thursday morning, the building will be boarded up.

Local organizations like the Salvation Army and social workers will help to find temporary and permanent housing for the residents.

If the problems in the buildings are not corrected in 45 days, the city can and will demolish them.


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