EL CENTRO, CA.- The Cottage Apartment Complex in El Centro was closed down by city officials after deeming it hazardous and unsafe to live in.
After a 6-month long investigation of the complex, authorities finally condemned the building this morning around 9 am.
Hazardous orange tape was put up around the building gates and property surrounding the complex, while red tags were placed on 13 of the 19 units in the apartment building.
El Centro city building officials, along with El Centro firefighters and police officers, woke up tenants this morning to give them the news that they had to leave the premises immediately.
Bed bugs, contamination and illegal activity finally pushed the city to condemn the complex. "It's unsafe for the residents to be in there", says El Centro Fire Department Captain, Chad Whitlock. "Fire hazard, the building is old, structurally it's not up to code, and for police department-wise, it's been quite a problem for them for a long time".
Although the displaced residents will receive help from The American Red Cross, The Imperial Valley Adult Protective Service and The Center for Family Solutions, some were left upset at the situation they were left in. "My mom's lived here for 10 years", says resident, Richard Reddick. "They cut the power off and tell everybody that this place is unsafe and everybody has to move. My mom is an elderly woman; she's got nowhere to go".
According to El Centro City Officials, the owner new about the situation and failed to notify his tenants.
Animal control was also on hand. They were quite overwhelmed as they ended up taking over 20 pets to The Imperial Valley Humane Society. Some pets were mal-nurtured and weak in health.
An attempt to reach the current owner was made but he has yet to respond. No arrests have been made in connection to the illegal activities that are suspected of taking place in the complex.
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