AMBRIDGE (KDKA) – Sixteen people were forced out of their apartment complex in Ambridge on Friday because fire officials say it is too dangerous for them to stay.
Ambridge Borough officials say they were forced to condemn the building on Merchant Street and ordered the tenants to move because they believe it’s a fire waiting to happen.
“It’s sad to say, it’s better to leave now than in a body bag. It is a fire hazard for them,” said Chief Dave Drewnowski, of the Ambridge Fire Department.
Alex Sipple says he was relaxing in his living room when someone knocked on his door.
“I was hanging out with some roommates of mine, and then all the sudden this comes up. Like seriously, are you kidding?” said Sipple.
“Obviously, they’ve got a problem with the landlords and they take it out on the tenants. That’s how I feel,” added Harry Woods, another tenant.
But Ambridge officials say it’s a big problem.
Chief Drewnowski says the landlord pleaded guilty to the violations and was fined $500, but still hasn’t made any repairs.
“It’s just hanging from the wires, the exit sign, and where you could actually smack it with your hand and the sign goes back and forth. It’s not even permanently mounted,” said Chief Drewnowski. “Emergency lighting, the lenses and bulbs are missing.”
Apparently, the borough is trying to avoid another scene like a fire last week, which heavily damaged an apartment building.
“We’re going to be cleaning them up now,” said Chief Drewnowski. “We have backing through Ambridge Council to go after these landlords or just collecting the rent and not keeping up with the buildings.”