COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - For two weeks, WIS has been covering stunning developments at Allen Benedict Court Apartments in Columbia.
Two men were found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. In the aftermath, hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate the complex for temporary shelter. It’s a nightmare that isn’t over yet.
A WIS investigation uncovered numerous violations cited at Allen Benedict Court, including gas or carbon monoxide leaks found during an inspection.
So who is responsible?
The city council appoints board members to the Columbia Housing Authority. However, it has no regulatory control. Commissioners report to Executive Director Gilbert Walker. For weeks after the incident, CHA Board members have seemed to be at a loss as to what to do.
That changed Thursday night when a public meeting was held. While council members did discuss the matter, little was resolved.
The board eventually voted to launch an independent investigation into what happened.
These difficult times raise difficult questions. Why were there no carbon monoxide detectors at the Allen Benedict Court Apartments?
Those residences had gas appliances, so they should have had CO detectors, according to the International Fire Code.
Were members of the Housing Authority and Housing Authority Board aware of the dangers residents were living with?
Bottom Line – were the warning signs here ignored by those in charge?
WIS will continue to push for answers to those questions in the days and weeks to come.
That’s My Take, What’s Yours?