The elevator at Retired Tigers apartments in Warsaw has literally stranded residents of the senior housing center in their homes and many want to know why nothing is being done.
Monty Lackey resides on the third floor of the 4-story building. He has not left the third floor since last Thursday when someone put caution tape across the elevator doors and ordered them out of commission.
“We’re stuck up here with no warning,” Lackey said. “This has constantly happened over the last 12 years, but this is the worst. First they say the elevator is too old to get parts, then they say they ordered a part and it wasn’t the right one. Which one is it?”
Lackey, who is on oxygen, also requires the use of a scooter to go any type of distance. He is unable to leave his apartment and is concerned about four doctor appointments he has at the VA coming up next week. “I have someone to take me, but I can’t go down the stairs or get my scooter down either,” he explained.
Last week the Warsaw Fire Department was called to Retired Tigers twice to get people out of the elevator when it stopped working. Neither the Indiana Building Commissioner nor the Warsaw Building Inspector actually condemned the elevator, but residents tell StaceyPageOnline.com they were told it was the fire department that ordered it out of commission saying they simply could not keep responding to elevator rescues. But that isn’t likely the case.
Julie Dawson is regional manager for California Commercial Investment which owns Retired Tigers. Dawson, based in Spokane, Wash., said she “cannot say” who actually condemned the elevators. When asked if she could not say or would not say, she replied, “I can’t say.”
Warsaw Fire Chief Mike Brubaker was on vacation last week but said he was unaware that the elevators had been condemned. He said he would look into the matter.
Dawson would only offer this statement: “Our elevator has recently been having problems. We are aware of it and it needed a part. We have ordered the part and are working with our elevator company.” When pressed for a time frame of when the elevator may be fixed, she said, “When the part comes in.”
Linda Drielick is also a third floor resident of Retired Tigers. She said she has been stuck inside the elevator three times herself and agreed with Lackey that these “recent” elevator problems are not the only problems they have had.
“That has been trouble since I moved in,” said Drielick, a two-year resident. “People who have lived her for a long time say this has been going on for 10 years.”
Marlys Huffman, who calls herself lucky enough to reside on the second floor, has also been stuck inside the elevator. “This is the first time it’s been out like this, but it’s always been sporadic,” she said. Huffman suffers from asthma, emphysema and arthritis and has suffered two strokes. She uses a walker but is unable to bring it down the stairs with her so said she is also limited in where she can go.
Huffman added, “There are people up there who just can’t get down the stairs and haven’t been out of their apartments in two weeks.” She said she’s afraid others who may eventually attempt to take the stairs will fall or even suffer a heart attack and is disgusted at management for not fixing the problem once and for all. “People need these elevators. We moved in here for a reason!”
Lackey is thinking about moving out of the apartment building because of the continued inconvenience but does not really want to leave the place he has called home for years. Huffman said she expects others may also consider moving. All of the residents we spoke to also said the building should have a service elevator due to the many handicapped individuals who reside there.
The 82-unit apartment building is owned by California Commercial Investments out of Westlake Village, Calif. So far, our phone calls and emails to CCI have gone unanswered.
The onsite manager said she is not allowed to speak with the media.