Campbell city inspector looks into broken elevators


May 29, 2012 5:51:42 PM PDT
The city of Campbell's building inspector is now looking into a problem ABC7 News first reported Monday night. Both elevators at a senior housing complex are down and residents say they have been left to fend for themselves since Friday night.

The problem has been compounded because of the long holiday weekend, but Campbell's top building inspector made a personal visit to the property Tuesday and says he is working with police, fire, and building management to make sure everyone is safe and that elevators repairs are being made as quickly as possible.

One specific stairwell is the only way in and out of the apartments at Wesley Manor in Campbell and it's been that way since Friday night. Vikki Pablo is among the worst off. She has multiple sclerosis and is confined like a prisoner to the 11th floor. "It sucks. It feels like you're trapped in a box," she says. The 12-story complex houses about 160 low-income senior and disabled residents. A fire in one of the units Friday night triggered the sprinklers and the water gushing down the elevator shaft disabled the entire electrical panel.

Ottis Repair Company was there Tuesday and while building management declined an ABC7 News request for an on camera interview, Wesley Manor Manager Alice Sutton said, "Fixing the elevator is a top priority. We are making sure meals are delivered and everything is fine." Residents say everything is not fine and they were the ones recruited to make those deliveries. "I am totally exhausted. I don't know how much longer I can do this. People are running out of medicine. They're running out of food. We can't cart groceries up," resident Susan Brueggeman said.

At least one nearby church which offered help has been turned away. "We've called them. They've rejected our assistance, at this point, because they feel they have it under control," said Dianna Romero with The Home Church. The elevator company has no estimated time of repair and residents are furious about the way building management is handling the situation. "They've got all kinds of excuses. We don't need excuses. We have people in wheelchairs and walkers who cannot go up or down," resident Ed Tripp said.

The city building inspector says he has told building management that until at least one elevator is repaired, they need to make sure anyone who cannot get up and down the stairs has their access issues addressed. He says he is confident that is happening, but if it does not, some of the residents may have to be temporarily located.

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