Oak Park

Residents Move Out of Oak Park Apartment Building in ‘Danger of Failure of Collapse'

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A routine check by a village inspector during a renovation revealed that a suburban apartment building was in “imminent danger of failure or collapse,” and residents were ordered to move out by midnight Thursday.

One couple, Lemont and Joyce, were seen pushing what they could from their first floor apartment in the 48-unit building, located in the 900 block of North Boulevard in suburban Oak Park.

Fortunately for the couple, they were able to find a place to live just before the deadline to move out.

“They’re gonna lock it down and we’re not gonna be able to get the stuff, and they said they won’t be responsible for it, so I’m going to try to get everything out of there that I can,” Lemont said.

Debra Leonard-Porch, another resident in the building, says that the management of the residence helped her to find a new place.

“It was a no-brainer,” she said. “Yes, I might not like it for a year, but I’m not gonna get crushed by a building.”

That was a very real concern for inspectors, who discovered floors that were sloping by as much as four inches in some locations in the building. The inspection, conducted while the building was undergoing renovations, revealed so many issues that residents were given just five days to pack up and get out of the seven-story structure.

While residents were understandably stressed about having to find new lodging so quickly, they were also quick to remember what occurred earlier this year in Surfside, Florida, when a building collapse killed 98 people in June.

“My mind had kinda been at Surfside for a while because of the cracks,” Leonard-Porch said.

“I’m glad a catastrophe like that didn’t happen over here,” Lemont added.

Officials say that it could take at least three weeks for a full structural analysis to be completed on the building, with any work having to wait until that analysis is complete.

Management says that it believes that every resident of the building had a place to stay as the evacuation deadline approached.  

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