Displaced condo owners in Warrensville Heights still waiting for repairs after deadly fire

Published: Jul. 6, 2023 at 5:41 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - A deadly fire at a condo complex has now turned into an agonizing wait for one local couple to go back home.

They’ve been in a hotel for months, waiting for the property management to fix the damage.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Multiple firefighters battle blaze in Warrensville Heights

Desperate for answers, they called the 19 Troubleshooters.

“Why can’t you at least make a phone call?” asked Yvonne Fisher-Riley, a displaced condo owner. “At least call us and tell us something. He won’t tell us nothing. I don’t know why.”

Yvonne Fisher-Riley and her husband, Don, are tired of waiting for answers.

Its been nearly three months since a condo at their complex on Country Lane Road caught fire, killing a woman, and causing damage to their own home.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 71-year-old woman dies in Warrensville Heights fire

Thanks to their homeowner’s insurance, they’ve been in a local hotel ever since, waiting until it’s safe to go home.

“I miss it,” said Fisher-Riley. “I want to be home. Everyone wants to be home I assume.”

But home isn’t safe right now.

There are holes in the ceiling, debris throughout the house, and floors are covered in soot.

Fisher-Riley can’t return home until her condo association fixes the roof and siding.

But nothing’s been done. We stopped by to check out the damage ourselves.

Even more frustrating, Fisher-Riley says her property manager isn’t returning her calls.

“I leave messages for him with my name and my phone number, or just leave a message,” said Fisher-Riley. “He knows who I am because I’ve called enough times, and he never calls us back. Never.”

Left in the dark, with no answers on repair progress or when work will begin.

So she called the 19 Troubleshooters, and we went straight to the property management’s office.

RELATED STORIES: Read more reports from the 19 Troubleshooter Team

No answer, but we did eventually get a hold of the property manager over the phone.

“We have to start in the area where there’s structural issues,” said Property Manager Chuck Shulman. “We need to make sure the structural issues are taken care of before we start doing anything for the roof or for the firewalls in between. That’s what’s holding thing’s up.”

He said work hasn’t begun because they’re still trying figure out the fire victim’s insurance information.

If the insurance can’t be located, the condo’s insurance will begin work in the next couple weeks.

Finally some answers for Fisher-Riley and the other tenants, and you can bet the 19 Troubleshooters will stay on this until they see some action.

We also asked the property manager about why he hasn’t been returning tenants’ phone calls.

He said they’ve been getting dozens of phone calls on the situation, and between the fire investigators, contractors, insurance companies and tenants, it has been difficult to manage it all.

We’ll be following back up with management to make sure the work begins.