Condemned building leaves tenants homeless

Condemned building leaves tenants homeless
YAKIMA, Wash.-- Today marked the end of the line for a troubled apartment complex here in Yakima. Authorities shut it down and gave the tenants very little warning they had to leave. Code enforcement says it's unsafe.

Pine Street Apartments is now plastered with "danger" signs. Yakima code enforcement officers condemned the building after an inspection Thursday. Tenants of the 17 units had 16 hours to leave.

"They wanted to shut us down yesterday and a lot of the neighbors were like 'look, we need some time to be able to get our stuff together and pack up, find us a place to go,'" said Joshua Joe who has lived in Pine Street Apartments for 9 months.

"We found water coming through ceilings, water integrating with electrical fixtures," Said Joe Caruso, the Fire Marshall for Yakima. "It's been happening for a while. Also, there was a lot of illegal electrical components put in here. "

Yakima police almost shut down the complex six months ago because it fell under the "chronic nuisance ordinance." The landlord got a warning that it was time to fix things, but time ran out.

"I think we've been lucky so far that nothing has happened," he said.

The landlord has a week to get all tenants relocation money. Every pet that lived here will have to be surrendered to the humane society because of the living conditions. A tenant with 11 cats watched as animal control officers took them away.

The building can reopen if the landlord fixes all the problems. For now, tenants can go back during the day to get personal belongings. People who can't prove they live there will be arrested.