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Residents forced out by roof collapse return to find apartments ransacked

Posted: 6:23 PM, Jan 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-04 18:25:22-05

CINCINNATI — Residents forced out of their apartments when the leaking roof collapsed say burglars broke into their unoccupied homes and stole their belongings.

Keira Washington said she and about a dozen others living on Wyoming Avenue in West Price Hill had to leave most of their stuff behind after the collapse on New Year’s Eve. They were told no one would be allowed in and their stuff would be safe.

But when they came back the next day to get their things …

“Everybody’s door was kicked in, so it had to happen basically that night,” Washington said.

“The lady across from us, her jewelry box was stolen. My mom had a few items stolen,” Washington said.

“Everybody, for real … they ransacked everybody’s.”

Washington said the owners told her they must make repairs before anybody can move back in, and that could take months. For now she’s living in an apartment across the parking lot while her furniture and most of what she owns is still in her old place.

The building is boarded up now, but she doesn’t trust that her old apartment won’t be targeted again.

“Honestly, I don’t know who to be mad at for real,” Washington said.

“I feel like don’t nobody care except for the residents because this our stuff.

“All I really want for real is my things. If I can get that, I’d be fine.”

WCPO wanted to know why it took a couple of days to board up the building after the roof collapsed. The landlord and apartment manager had no comment.

WCPO reached out to the city and was told that building codes do not require a vacant property be boarded up to be secure, only that the windows and doors be locked. And in this case, they were.

A few days earlier, the manager said “no comment” to questions about why the roof hadn’t been fixed before it collapsed.

Water was leaking prior to the collapse, police said. Residents reported damage from the third floor all the way to the basement.

Dave Molloy, CEO of Molloy Roofing, said his company had been hired to fix the roof. The company's materials were already on site and loaded onto the roof, but Molloy said his crews were waiting for a good weather day to get the job done.

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