Leaky Roof Forces Residents Out Of Penn Hills Row Houses

PENN HILLS (KDKA) — A leaking roof forced residents out of their homes and into the frigid temperatures in Penn Hills this morning.

The leak caused the ceiling to sag and sent debris everywhere in four connected row houses on Torrance Street. Crews were called to the scene around 9:30 a.m.

“I woke up to my ceiling falling in, rain coming in through my light fixture in my bedroom,” said Mary Woods, a tenant. “My best friend lives two doors down, her ceiling fell in like this as well, over top of her bed.”

Officials say 10 adults and eight children have been displaced. They are being assisted by the Red Cross and the nearby Lincoln Park Community Center.

Police, firefighters, paramedics, utility companies and building inspectors were called to the scene. Fire crews helped to evacuate the residents, while code enforcement officials condemned the building.

The tenants say this is the third time the roof has leaked, and the landlord has not responded to their calls.

“He’s a slum lord. The only time you see him is the first through the 10th when he’s here to collect rent,” Tiesha Littlejohn, another tenant. “He don’t fix nothing. He tell you he don’t have to talk to you. I’ve been dealing with this for a year now. The only thing he tell you is, ‘I’ll come fix it.’ He just patch it up with paint.”

Officials on the scene say the landlord will be given a certain amount of time to make repairs, or he will be cited.

“There’s things wrong,” said Daniel Guy, the owner of the building.

KDKA’s Bob Allen: “Certainly not livable?”

Guy: “Then, they can leave… I live where I can afford. I’m not going to live in your house and complain about it and don’t give you no money. I’m going to leave.”

Allen: “So is that what you’re saying the tenants can do?”

Guy: “Yeah, they can leave.”

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