COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Columbia Fire Department and the Columbia Police Department discovered conditions at Mallard Apartments and Howell Court Apartments that were deemed unsafe for residents on Wednesday.
In all, officials found six units that had a level of gas, according to CPD Chief Skip Holbrook. The gas has been shut off at this time. Holbrook said the six units had “a detection of gas,” and at this time, are the only units affected. Holbrook also mentioned five units that lacked heat.
The landlord of the apartments has 48 hours to have the heat fixed in each of those units. According to CPD Chief Skip Holbrook, residents were asked to leave temporarily so that the air could ventilated and returned to safe levels. Because the heat is the only thing that operates off gas and because of the current temperatures, residents will be allowed to stay in those units for the 48-hour period given to the property owner to make the necessary repairs.
Failure to make the repairs will force tenants to evacuate the units.
Other units have code violations that fall under a judge’s order where the landlord has 30 days to rectify all maintenance issues.
The apartments, located near Howell Avenue and Howell Court, are not far from the Allen Benedict Court apartments where more than 400 residents were forced to leave after a gas leak resulted in the deaths of two residents last month.
This discovery is unrelated to the ABC apartments tragedy, and the inspection at Mallard and Howell Court were in response to previously made complaints.
Residents at Mallard Apartments said Wednesday that the landlord didn’t make the appropriate maintenance fixes, causing code enforcement to close a few of the apartments. Mallard Apartments is not maintained or owned by the Columbia Housing Authority.
This is a developing story; check back for more updates.