Edgewood apartment building deemed uninhabitable after walkway collapse

By SCOTT MARCINKO
Posted 7/7/21

On Monday, June 5, just after 9 p.m., the Cranston Fire Department was dispatched to report of a building collapse at 1890 Broad St. in the Edgewood area of the city.

A mother and daughter who …

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Edgewood apartment building deemed uninhabitable after walkway collapse

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On Monday, June 5, just after 9 p.m., the Cranston Fire Department was dispatched to report of a building collapse at 1890 Broad St. in the Edgewood area of the city.

A mother and daughter who live in the building called 911 after the 41-year-old daughter nearly fell through part of the second-floor walkway. The area around the partially collapsed floor was caution taped off after the fire department responded to the scene.

After further inspection to the damage, it was determined that the building was uninhabitable, and an emergency meeting with residents called for the afternoon of July 6. Many of the residents learned of the notice as they arrived home from work, unable to enter their apartments. The building includes 39 units.

The meeting, called for by city representatives including Mayor Ken Hopkins, Ward 1 City Councilwoman Lammis Vargas, city building and inspection officials as well as representatives from the Cranston Fire and Police departments, was held at William Hall Library.

During the meeting, Hopkins informed the residents of the decision to deem the building uninhabitable due to damage found during the inspection of the collapsed floor, including cracks found throughout the building structure. Hopkins, Vargas and representatives from the American Red Cross and Cranston’s Comprehensive Community Action Program informed all residents that assistance would be provided, including relocating all residents to local hotels, including the Hilton in downtown Providence, while it is determined when and if the residents will be able to return to their homes.

The residents of the complex were allowed back on the property at the conclusion of the meeting to gather belongings, and were informed that once they left for the night, the building would be locked down and no residents allowed back in until a determination on the future of the complex is decided.

During the meeting, residents voiced their frustrations and concerns over the incident, alleging years of mismanagement by former and current property owners. One resident stated that even after years of complaints regarding the safety of the building, rent continued to rise for the apartment complex. Other major concerns voiced by apartment residents included reimbursement of rent payments for the month of July, as residents’ payments were recently due for the month.

Josh Hennessy, a representative for the property management company – Hennessy Property Management out of East Greenwich, which recently purchased the property – was present at the meeting to answer residents’ questions and concerns, and at one point, was shut down by Vargas after making the comment that the city and the mayor’s office were taking the lead on the incident and they were there to support them. Vargas informed Hennesy that the management company was responsible for the incident, and the city would be providing support as need and requested an inquiry into the inspection of the complex at its last sale to Hennessy Property Management.

When asked by a resident if this would spark further inspections of other apartments and complex facilities in the area, Hopkins stated that with a shortage of building inspectors, the city is doing its best to inspect other local buildings.

At the close of the meeting, Hopkins told the building’s residents: “Even if I have to get a room at the Hilton myself, I will be there for you.”

At the complex after the meeting, residents could be seen entering the building to gather their belongings before leaving the premises. Cranston Police were on scene to provide traffic control and entry to residents and a caution-taped area could be seen from the street, along with a sign still hanging from previous property owners, adding the confusion of whom residents were to contact about concerns and issues while living in the complex.

The Herald will have more coverage as this story develops.

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