AMBRIDGE (KDKA) — A rooming house in Beaver County was condemned Thursday, and inspectors say they found many health and safety violations inside.
One room had been overtaken by junk that became piled several feet high. However, residents have now been turned out into the street.
The addresses of 465 and 467 Merchant Street in Ambridge have long been known as a nuisance.
“We’ve had 252 calls there in the last 15 years; documented calls – prostitution, drug overdoses, drug dealing,” said Chief Jimmy Mann, of Ambridge Police.
At 9:45 a.m., Annette Jablonsky and eight other tenants found themselves homeless.
Code enforcement inspectors and firefighters, with the support of sheriffs and police, shut down the building. They immediately turned off the gas, water and electricity.
“It just was horrific,” said Chief Mann. “One apartment has garbage, probably three-feet high. There was someone living there.”
Dozens of violations were logged, including human waste and extension cords were wound from room to room. Half of the building, which was condemned in 2008, was also occupied.
KDKA’s Mary Robb Jackson: “What did you pay to live here?”
Jablonsky: “Six-hundred dollars a month.”
There was a bar in the basement that hasn’t had a liquor license in five years.
“There was four people down there drinking like they never missed a beat,” said Chief Mann.
One woman was arrested on a warrant from Ohio Township, a man for heroin possession and other will be cited for crack pipes.
“This place has been the core, the nucleus of all the crime in our downtown district,” Chief Mann added.
“I lost enough stuff in my life,” said Jablonsky. “I don’t want to lose what I got left.”
“It doesn’t seem that way now, but I think we did them a favor by doing what we did today,” said Chief Mann.