Oak Park

Residents Frantically Moving Out of Oak Park Building That Could be in Danger of Collapse

Inspections revealed serious structural issues with the building, leading officials to order residents to move out

NBC Universal, Inc.

Residents who live in a suburban apartment building are frantically trying to find new places to live after building inspectors said that they believe the structure could be in danger of collapsing.

According to officials in Oak Park, the building in the 900 block of North Boulevard underwent a recent inspection amid renovations.

That inspection revealed several concerning structural changes, according to officials, including sloping of floors by as much as four inches in some areas, and a myriad of other problems.

“When you walk, your feet get stuck on carpet,” Debra Leonard-Porch, a resident of the building, said.

Leonard-Porch says she began noticing changes in the building several years ago.

“Cracks in the wall, sloping floors, uneven carpet,” she pointed out.

Now, city officials have ordered residents to move out of the building, giving them until Wednesday to find new accommodations.

Roughly half of the building’s 48 units are occupied, and now residents are left scrambling, trying to find new places to live, and even finding moving trucks has been a challenge.

“I’m hoping I get all my things out in time. I don’t have a place yet,” resident Rosalyn Heard said. “I’m going to stay with my sister and put my stuff in storage.”

While the management company did not respond to NBC 5’s requests for comment, Leonard-Porch says she is trying to keep a realistic approach to her plight, saying that she would rather be told to move out of an unsafe building than to not know that disaster could be imminent.

“Someone said something. They didn’t just let the building fall down around us. I cannot be mad about that,” she said.

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