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Richmond apartment building deemed unsafe, residents evacuated

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 6:48 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2021 at 11:20 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond apartment building has been deemed unsafe and residents are being evacuated.

Following an inspection at Grace Place Apartments, the Richmond Fire Marshal’s Office and the City of Richmond Department of Planning & Development Review deemed the building along North 4th Street unsafe for residents to stay.

“They don’t have a backup plan. They don’t have nowhere to go. They’re out here with their clothes, luggage, everything is out there. Just outside,” a woman, who asked not to be identified, said about her friends who live at Grace Place.

Before residents can go back inside the building, the Richmond Fire Department said the property owner needs to address the following:

  • Fire suppression systems need to be repaired.
  • Elevators need to be repaired.
  • Alarm panel needs to be repaired.
  • A structural engineer needs to ensure the building is structurally sound and produce a report to support that finding.

“It is the responsibility of the property owner/property management to notify the tenants and to handle temporary living arrangements for them,” a release said.

A woman says her son who lives at the apartments called her at 1:30 p.m. to say he had four hours to get out.

“And then it’s unexpected, and around this time it’s getting dark, a lot of people are struggling,” the unidentified woman said.

RFD said the city is doing what it can to help the residents who are displaced. Some residents are being assisted by Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority, HomeAgain and Virginia Supportive Housing. Credit vouchers are being given out by the Richmond Department of Social Services to residents still in need.

NBC 12 reached out to the apartment’s managers to find out how they plan to resolve the issues and how long tenants will be out of their homes.

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