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Sewage leak at Oakley senior living center forces residents out of their homes

Oakley senior living center evacuated due to sewage leak
Oakley senior living center evacuated due to sewage leak 03:07

OAKLEY — At least 50 residents of an Oakley senior living center are spending the night at nearby hotels after a stalled elevator call turned into an evacuation of all residents and their pets when firefighters found sewage leaking into an electrical room from an upstairs unit.

It's a situation that is unsurprising but infuriating to Jamie Clee, whose grandmother lives in the community. She said she's formed bonds with most of the residents over the years after responding to calls from concerned residents of other maintenance and security issues.

"These are all my grandparents, so I'm not just fighting for one I'm fighting for the whole building," she told CBS News Bay Area. "They don't deserve to live like this. They pay their rent. They do everything they need to be doing."

Residents said they could smell a stench of dark sewage mixed with gas seeping into the floors Sunday morning. They later found one unit had been covered in a mix of sewage and gas pouring from drains in the bathroom and kitchen.

"It makes me feel horrible," Clee said. "They don't deserve it just because they're low income."

They anxiously await word for when they can return home. They expect it to be within a day or two, but realistically they say they don't expect for at least a week.

It's a pattern of maintenance failures residents say have intensified over a decade. Resident Peter Bree lives in a unit above where sewage was found pouring from the bathroom. He said he could smell the odors from several floors up.

"We shouldn't have to go through this," Bree said. "We're not a commodity; we're people."

Bree, like most residents, is fearful of retaliation for speaking to media, but he said he has nowhere else to go.

"I can't afford any of the places that I would like to live," he said. "I'm probably getting kicked out because of this."

Property management company Winn did not return our requests for comment.

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