- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Residents of Jackson Manor Apartments have been told to vacate their homes after Sioux City officials deemed the building unsafe.

The Sioux City Journal (https://bit.ly/1Ngvjwi ) reports that the city posted notices Tuesday that gave all tenants until midnight to gather their belongings and vacate the 37-unit building. According to one such notice, the building was deemed unsafe due to fire safety, electrical, plumbing and sanitation issues.

Sioux City Code Enforcement Manager Darrel Bullock said that 12 units were occupied by about 20 people. Bullock said that it’s uncommon for occupied buildings to be vacated, but that the apartments had become too dangerous for people to live in.

“Usually, it’s associated with a fire or some kind of catastrophe,” he said. “We just couldn’t allow them to live there any longer.”

According to Bullock, fire alarms in the building did not function, and there was no infrastructure to protect the building from fires.

“We thought everything was fine,” tenant Fanuel Gumani said. “You don’t expect it - to come home and be homeless.”

The city, which normally does not provide assistance to people who have been displaced after a building has been red-tagged, is helping tenants find new places to stay. They are also receiving support from the Salvation Army.

“There’re a couple families with children,” said Maj. Von R. Vandiver with the Salvation Army. “We want to try and help them find a new place as quickly as possible.”

The building’s owner, Rod Fife of Spanish Fork, Utah, told city officials Tuesday he wants to repair the apartments.


Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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