Fire victims looking for answers
A number of residents impacted Ey Whe OFW. 5 fiUe DW Whe 1600 ChuUFh Road condominiums in Cheltenham are getting frustrated by a lack of answers on when and how they will be able to access their belongings.
The 55-unit at building B suffered exWensLve fiUe, wDWeU DnG sPRke GDPDJe Ln Whe IRuU-DODUP fiUe WhDW EURke RuW DURunG 9:20 S.P. OFW. 5, DFFRUGLnJ WR WRwnshLS DnG fiUe FRPSDny RIfiFLDOs. An esWLPDWeG 75 WR 100 SeRSOe weUe GLsSODFeG Ey Whe fiUe, whLFh sWDUWeG when D kLWFhen fiUe Ln D WhLUG-flRRU IURnW unLW sSUeDG, causing part of the roof to collapse and rendering the building uninhabitable.
BuW UesLGenWs RI sRPe RI Whe unLWs, particularly those that externally apSeDUeG LnWDFW, weUe sWLOO unDEOe WR gain access to their belongings as of OFW. 16 DnG weUe JeWWLnJ LPSDWLenW.
“3eRSOe weUe DnJUy, yeOOLnJ,” DW a meeting called Oct. 15 by WentwRUWh 3URSeUWy MDnDJePenW CRUS., which manages the four-building FRPSOex, DFFRUGLnJ WR 3DWULFLD -Rnes, D sWuGenW DW Whe 3ennsyOvDnLD College of Optometry at Salus University who rented a condo on the fiUsW-flRRU Rn Whe EDFk sLGe RI Whe B building in July.
Jones said she left the building with a backpack with her laptop the nLJhW RI Whe fiUe, EuW “eveUyWhLnJ Ls Ln WheUe.”
The residents received an email telling them to come to the meeting with a limited list of items — no furniture — they wanted retrieved from WheLU unLWs, sDLG -Rnes. HRweveU, DW Whe PeeWLnJ Whe JURuS RI DERuW 50 renters and owners who attended was told that an engineer hired to assess the building had deemed it sWUuFWuUDOOy unsWDEOe, WhDW Whe GePRlition contractors had been “kicked RuW DW 4 S.P.” WhDW GDy DnG nR Rne wDs DOORweG Ln Whe EuLOGLnJ, she said.
“BDsLFDOOy, we weUe JLven nR DnsweUs DJDLn, DnG UesLGenWs DUe even PRUe IUusWUDWeG,” -Rnes sDLG.
The GDy DIWeU Whe fiUe, UesLGenWs
were told contractors would only be going i n t o get medicationsI she saidI but after hearing other people had been able to have other items retrieved and her roommate was facing a A3MM cost to have her vehicle towed to a dealership to have new keys madeI the contractors did retrieve WHH rRRPPDWH’V SurVH with her keysI passport and other personal items. Some papers and equipment Jones needed in order to continue with her four-year program were retrieved and showed no signs of any damageI she said.
“We kept being told yRu’OO HDYH Dn HRur WR JHW in” to get some thingsI but that never happenedI she said.
JonesI who had no insuranceI said she thinks a lot of her possessionsI including her furnitureI are still usableI and she fears she will lose them either from a lack of security to the building or never being able to access them.
“, GRn’W KnRZ ZHHWHHr to move forwardI to buy a new routerI buy a new wardrobe or waitI” she said. “They said they hope to rebuildI but everything they say is speculation.
“,’P Ln JrDGuDWH VFHRRO. ,W’V nRW HDVy, SuWWLnJ PH Ln this situationI” Jones said. “, GLGn’W ORVH HYHryWHLnJ … I want to stop pretending I did.”
Mary Ann MulfinoI executive director of the salley Forge Region of Wentworth Property ManDJHPHnW’V CRnGRPLnLuP and eomeowners As- sociation DivisionI said Tuesday the company had no comment regarding the situation at 1SMM Church Road.
But Cheltenham Acting Township Manager Brian eavir said Wednesday that Wentworth is supposed to make arrangements to have the residents retrieve some of their belongings.
The township is of the understanding that the SrRSHrWy RZnHr’V LnVurance company “is preparing a hold harmless agreement that will allow Wentworth Property Management Corp. to accept responsibility for escorting all residents into the building to retrieve their personal possessionsI” Cheltenham Director of EngineeringI woning and Inspections Patrick Duffy wrote in a letter to Mulfino.
eaving received the reports from the engineers who inspected the building that it has been deemed uninhabitable and reviewed “a plan of action for stabilization of the structureI” the township is posting a “condemned and repairs necessary” sign on the buildingI the letter says. It further notes the process required to move forward with stabilization and selective demolition of the building.
CHHOWHnHDP’V ILrH PDrshal has been speaking with affected residents who have contacted the township and is serving at WHH WRZnVHLS’V “SRLnW SHrsonI” eavir said.
Allowing residents in to get their belongings “has always been our positionI” he said. “eow a week later things got distorted is beyond me.”