DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- Attorneys heard about plans to demolish the Arrive Perimeter apartment building that exploded last week, injuring at least four people. They sprung into action, filing an injunction before arriving at the scene on September 21, 2021.
One of the attorneys, L. Chris Stewart, said it was too soon for a demolition. "We have not had the chance to have our experts come out here yet, and we were very concerned that it was not going to be a fair and impartial investigation," he said. As crews purged the gas lines outside the complex, the attorneys learned officials had halted the demolition for now. "Luckily, we've just found out that DeKalb Fire Department completed the work they needed to and don't need to take the building down yet," Stewart said.
A temporary road closure kept some residents from getting in, all while many of them are already displaced. "In the moment, it's really difficult for me, because I have my daughter," said Carolina Diaz, a resident. "There are some folks staying without hot water, and then there are others that are staying in temporary housing in hotels and motels, others that have moved in with family members," said another attorney, Madeleine Simmons, who also confirmed property management has also offered tenants some units at their other properties.
The attorneys now represent about 80 residents collectively, and they're deciding which lawsuits to file. "The stories that we get daily are people just calling, literally crying, not knowing where they're going, what they're gonna do," said Stewart. With the demolition halted, there's now time for their experts to investigate the complaints that started long before the explosion. "People have been complaining about gas, not just in Building 2, which was destroyed, but in Building 1, in Building 3," said Stewart.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there was no word on when a demolition will take place and no response from fire officials on the official cause of the explosion.
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