CARRICK (KDKA) — One of the families whose home was condemned after a massive water main break received a letter from the city saying they could face legal action and fines.

A letter from the city of Pittsburgh told Rose and Wendy Gitzen that they are in violation of the city’s ordinance code.

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The letter went on to say that if they don’t fix the problem, the could face fines and legal action. The fines range from $1 to $1,000 per day.

The mother and daughter had their home on the 400 block of East Agnew Avenue ruined by a massive water main break in Carrick on Sept. 20.

(Photo Credit: Bryce Lutz/KDKA)

“Had to walk over raging rapids and it was disgusting,” Rose Gitzen said. “Now they want me to pay for it. That’s not right.”

The letter ⁠— which was from the Office of Permit, Licenses and Inspections ⁠— says the family needs to correct the violation of having an unsafe home.

It instructs the family to make the condemned structure safe, to obtain a building permit for violations, to fix violations under the building permit, and obtain an engineer’s report to assess the extent of the damage.

“It’s just adding to the stress we have,” Wendy Gitzen said.

All this needs to be done by Oct. 28, according to the letter.

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However, the city says the language is standard and they have no intention of pursuing legal action or fines.

“Pittsburgh PLI must legally place notices of demolition on unsafe homes. The language used on the notice is standard and we have no intention of pursuing the family,” the city said in a tweet.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)


“These people are going through all this, and then the city wants to send a letter telling them that they have 30 days to clean up that mess that they never even caused,” said Adam Cardamkne, Wendy’s fiance. “I mean do you have any compassion at all?”

The family did receive reassuring news after sending the letter to the attorney for Penn American Water, which owns the water main line that broke.

The attorney said they would take care of the issues.

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“We’re still in limbo,” Wendy Gitzen said. “We still don’t know what is going to happen.”