City officials condemn Cascades Grandview apartments in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- City officials have condemned a Greensboro apartment building after evacuating dozens of residents due to the building's loss of electricity.

Residents told FOX8's Nicole Ferguson that the 'Condemned' signs were put up around midnight Thursday at the Cascades Grandview apartments, which are located at 830 West Market St. across the street from Greensboro College.

Greensboro firefighters and police officers evacuated all residents from the complex Wednesday night after Duke Energy officials cut power to the entire building.

Many residents, including some students who had just moved into the complex this week, decided to pack up and leave when the power went out around 2:30 p.m.

“I know I intend on leaving and not paying my rent...  And I’m going to fight them in court,” said Debra Walker, who has lived in the complex since February.

A city inspections official told the Greensboro News-Record that the building, which houses about 300 units, had no working emergency lights.

Duke Energy officials said they were originally going to turn the power off Monday because the bills had not been paid, but said they wanted to give tenants two extra days to move out. 

Officials said the building's managers were warned for months about the pending cut-off, but residents said they never received the warning. 

“Bam. That’s it. No notice whatsoever,” said Sylvester Caraway, who moved into her apartment two weeks ago.

Tenants are being allowed to go back inside the building at 10 a.m. to retrieve any belongings that can be carried.

39 displaced residents were taken to the Glenwood Recreation Center on Coliseum Boulevard, where the American Red Cross provided shelter overnight.

The apartment's management is expected to meet with Duke Energy officials sometime Thursday.  The complex is owned by Virginia-based Signature Management Corporation.

Greensboro city manager Denise Turner Roth met with evacuated residents Thursday morning.  She said the city is working with code enforcement and the fire department to determine whether the residents can return to their homes today.

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City council members are expected to meet around 9 a.m. to discuss the issue.

In June, residents said air conditioning had not been working at the complex for several weeks. The AC was not fixed until July 12, but Walker and other residents were not satisfied.

“They keep telling me the air is working and I can’t tell it’s working,” Walker said. “I had to purchase an air conditioner. I live on a fixed income. I can't afford these things.”

Tenants said utilities are included in the rent.

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