WOOD RIVER, IL - Residents living in a 3-apartment unit building in Wood River say they warned their landlord about a potential danger just days before part of the building collapsed. The three families are now concerned about where they will be able to live. One of the families living there includes a three-week-old infant.
“They were told it was fine to stay here,” said Jennifer Albrecht, mother of one of the tenants. “The door frames started to shift in, some of the doors wouldn’t shut at the top any longer and then there were large gaps on the front window sills.”
The property manager confirmed residents shared concerns about the building located on Whitelaw Avenue on Friday. She said contractors made 3 visits over the weekend but did not spot any reason for immediate action.
“They were going to come back Monday and look at it again and decide what measure they could take,” said Wood River Mayor Cheryl Maguire. “Monday afternoon between 3:30 and 4 o’clock the front façade of the building started falling.”
Tenants and their families are worried about their future.
“Give them their deposit back so at least they have a start to go somewhere else,” said Albrecht.
The landlord has offered tenants a one-week stay at a hotel. A structural engineer is scheduled to inspect the property on Wednesday to determine if it can be repaired or if the property needs to be demolished.
The mayor believes the trouble was something that could not have been predicted and suspects summer heat and heavy rain on Monday morning were contributing factors. She said no one reported the city until after the collapse and encourages anyone with concerns about a building to contact their city officials.