Lack of Fire Resistant Stairways Leads to Condo Condemnation in PA

Condemned Condos Leaving Residents Homeless

The 4-year-old building has exposed wires, unsafe walls and poor fire suppression, officials say

By VINCE LATTANZIO
Updated 11:45 PM EDT, Thu, May 6, 2010

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The City of Norristown is investigating how a newly constructed condo building that was condemned for code violations was ever able to open.
Residents of the 770 Sandy Street Condos have made several calls to officials about a slew of shoddy and unsafe conditions within the building.
Exposed wires, wooden stairs in a fire tower, inadequate fire suppression systems and poor wall integrity are just some of the concerns levied by residents and inspectors.
“There were a number of things that we felt necessitated us to take such a drastic action,” Norristown Administrator David Forrest said.
Matt Dieckhaus and Megan Peterson say the condemnation of the 26-unit building leaves them homeless three weeks before their wedding.
“I literally woke up yesterday and opened my door and a letter fell out saying the building was condemned and I had not idea,” Dieckhaus said Thursday.
Developer Bruce Fazio defends the 4-year-old building saying it is safe and that he’s working with his bank to bring it up to code. He went on to say the condemnation was illegal because he wasn’t given time to fix the issues.
Forrest says his office will be researching the original inspection approval to find out how the building was allowed pass.
First Published: May 6, 2010 10:26 PM ED

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