Just hours after our story on the out of service elevator that has stranded elderly and disabled residents of Retired Tigers on the third and fourth floors, management told the residents a new elevator is going to be installed. And today, we are told the elevator is again working.
Although the resident manager said she is not allowed to speak with members of the media, she did speak with residents of the apartment building and with at least some family members. Today, StaceyPageOnline.com has learned that the owners of the 82-unit apartment building, California Commercial Investments out of Westlake Village, Calif., say they are putting in a new elevator that will be complete in approximately 8 weeks. CCI, however, has not confirmed that to StaceyPageOnline.com.
Yesterday, Julie Dawson, regional manager for California Commercial Investment, told StaceyPageOnline.com, “Our elevator has recently been having problems. We are aware of it and it needed a part. We have ordered the part and are working with our elevator company.” When pressed for a time frame of when the elevator may be fixed, she said, “When the part comes in.” (See story)
Warsaw Fire Chief Mike Brubaker was not available for comment today. Fire department secretary Shirley Fetrow said he was in meetings pertaining to the elevator issue. Warsaw Fire Inspector Joe Fretz was also not available but was at Retired Tigers this morning on what we are told was official business.
Michael Wilson, current Leesburg Fire Department chief and Kosciusko County Coroner, was Warsaw’s fire inspector from 1995 to May 2011. Wilson said his mother was a resident of Retired Tigers before her passing and noted elevator problems have long plagued the building.
“It was down for about a month in 2008 or 2009. Back then I was told it was too old to get parts for so they worked with a different elevator company,” said Wilson, “but I also worked well with them.”
Although Wilson said an elevator is not required in the building, he added, “The elevator is a sales tool for (Retired Tigers) so morally they need to keep it running.”
In the event of a fire or other emergency in the building, Wilson said the means of getting residents out of harms way would fall on the firefighters. Residents would first be moved to a safer area of the building, then evacuated if necessary. “In a fire, the means of escape is not an elevator, it’s the stairs,” he added.
The elevator is only for residents to use from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
StaceyPageOnline.com has contacted California Commercial Investments for comment, but has still not received a response.