BELLEVUE (KDKA) – The fire marshal nearly condemned an apartment building in Bellevue overnight, after debris was found to be blocking staircases and fire escapes.
Police were called to the building at 35 South Howard Avenue late Monday night for reports of a disturbance.
When officers entered the building, they noticed debris and even some bathtubs lining the hallways. They also noticed the fire escape was packed with debris and wood, making it a danger for residents.
As a result, the fire marshal was called in and the building was nearly condemned. However, the building owner was contacted and told to bring in some people to try and bring the building up to code.
A total of 12 tenants live in the building.
Building manager Pete Smith said they are renovating the bathrooms in the building, upgrading the bathtubs, toilets and sinks.
He also said the tenants are to blame for the other debris and junk in the hallways.
“It didn’t take this call. We been trying to fix this, but these people go like this. They keep on piling, piling and piling. They are hoarders, that’s what they’re called, hoarders,” Smith said.
Sgt. Matthew Lucas of the Bellevue Police Department had a slightly different story.
“My understanding was the fire marshal was considering condemning the structure. The fire escape was totally full of debris and wood, totally impassible for the tenants that were here,” Sgt. Lucas said. “These people are paying rent every month on time, they should have a safe place to live.”
The fire marshal stayed at the building throughout the night to make sure the building’s owner and manager brought it up to code.
The Bellevue Fire Marshal says there are still some minor fire code violations, and fines against the owner are pending