Church concerned about Water Department response time

Church concerned about Water Department response time

It's bone-chilling cold outside. Inside one Cleveland home it's just as bad.

There are icicles hanging above the staircase and dangling from a door knob. You can see sheets of ice on the floor, and the basement is a flooded mess.

It's all the result of vandals breaking into the vacant home in the 2800 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

The home belongs to the First Hungarian Evangelical Lutheran Church next door.

The thieves used an ax to rip copper wire from the building.

Steve Bloomfield lives across the street. He made the discovery Wednesday afternoon. That's when he says he called the Cleveland Water Department.

The Water Department could have gotten out here and done something earlier and they just didn't. Twelve hours, fourteen hours for a situation like this that's just not acceptable," says Bloomfield.

Water Department officials say they sent a crew out at 4 a.m. Thursday but had the wrong address. They thought they were going to the church.

They say they went out again but the owner wasn't home.

Thursday evening a crew was finally able to shut off the water.

"Everybody thinks their problem is more important than everybody else. We deal with it in a way that supervisors give it to us, management gives it to us one at a time," says Department employee Ed Washington.

Bloomfield says a new tenant was supposed to move in at the end of the month. He estimates the damage to be about $40,000.

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