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Apartment Building Which Partially Collapsed In Davenport, Iowa, Faces Demolition

Apartment Building Which Partially Collapsed In Davenport, Iowa, Faces Demolition

Authorities in Iowa are planning to demolish a six-story apartment building a day after it partially collapsed, injuring at least one person and rendering many residents homeless.

The owner of the property was served an order for demolition of the building that was once the Davenport Hotel. Nobody was allowed back into the building to remove their belongings out of fear of an imminent collapse of the unstable building.

“The property is currently being secured by a contractor on site this afternoon and demolition is expected to commence in the morning,” a statement said.

The cause of the collapse which happened shortly before 5 pm on Sunday is not yet known and no death was recorded. There building had 84 units, a mixture of residential and business commercial spaces.

Firefighters and other first responders are applauded for their efforts in saving lives.

“When something like this happens here, and tragedy strikes, our responders immediately do their work and their job and I can’t thank them enough,” Mayor Mike Matson said.

Fire Chief Michael Carlsten said workers and K-9 units searched for survivors throughout the night and rescued one person from the rubble – bringing the total number of people rescued by fire officials to eight. An additional 12 people were escorted out by fire crews when they first responded to the collapse on Sunday evening.

Schlaan Murray, a former resident of the building said the eventual collapse of the building was not a surprise to him. In an interview with the Associated Press, he referred to his stay in the apartment then as a nightmare.

According to the 46-year-old, his issues started almost immediately after he moved in February 2022. The heat and air conditioner didn’t work, and there were plumbing problems in the bathroom.

After making multiple calls to the management company, and getting few responses, occasionally, a maintenance person would stop by but never completely fix the problem.

“They would come in and put some caulk on it,” he said. “But it needed more than that. They didn’t fix stuff, they just patched it up.”

“It was horrible,” Murray said, adding that he felt the conditions were so bad that he didn’t want to bring his children to his apartment.

Murray said he moved out a month before his lease expired in March and still hasn’t received his security deposit. He said that while the building’s conditions were deplorable, many residents were like him but had difficulty racking in funds to move to another apartment.

At a news conference on Sunday, Rich Oswald, Davenport director of development and neighborhood services, said that work was being done on the building’s exterior at the time of the collapse.

Reports of bricks falling from the building earlier this week were part of that work and the building’s owner had a permit for the project, Oswald said.

City officials also said that they had received several complaints from residents about needed repairs.

“The tenants told us the building was going to collapse,” Jennifer Smith, co-owner of Fourth Street Nutrition, which moved into the building this winter, told the Quad-City Times.

“It sounds bad, but we have been calling the city and giving complaints since December. Our bathroom caved in December,” she said.

The Quad-City Times reported nearly 20 permits were filed in 2022 for building repairs, mainly for plumbing or electrical issues, according to the county assessor’s office.

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