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Roosevelt Arms building in Downtown Pittsburgh reopens to tenants almost 1 year after deadly fire

Roosevelt Arms building reopening to tenants almost 1 year after deadly fire
Roosevelt Arms building reopening to tenants almost 1 year after deadly fire 02:04

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Tenants forced out of a Downtown highrise after a deadly fire can now return. The reopening of the Roosevelt Arms building comes almost a year since a fire on the 12th floor killed Barbara Johnson

Management at the Roosevelt building is excited this day has finally come. They said all floors are now move-in ready.

"We're excited to have everybody back and welcome everybody back as well," said property manager Dana McFadden.

Tenants forced from the Roosevelt building after a deadly fire nearly one year ago are being invited back home. The official opening date was Oct. 1 and since, McFadden says, they've welcomed back 10 previous tenants. 

"We sent out a letter and a certified letter to everybody who has lived there in the past. We also posted stuff on our building inviting everybody back to reapply," McFadden said.

Previous tenants of the 14-story building have to go through the application process again but McFadden says an expedited process is available for those wanting to return. 

"What we've been doing right now is leaving applications right outside of our door on the second floor, suite 200. We have a little box there with applications in that people have been coming to pick up. Once they pick them up, they fill them out and put it back in our door slot, we run their information in the computer and we invite them in for an eligibility interview -- that quick," McFadden said.

Some former residents KDKA-TV talked to say they're not interested in moving back in for various reasons -- either because they're currently in a lease elsewhere or they don't want to live in the city anymore. McFadden says of the 191 units, 161 units are still available and move-in ready.

"Long process but we're excited we're moving ahead and ready to welcome people back," McFadden said. 

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