EXCLUSIVE: People forced out of New Haven apartment building after officials deemed it uninhabitable

NEW HAVEN -- Residents were forced out of their apartment building after officials declared it unsafe.

Tenants of the Norton Towers Apartments were told, Thursday afternoon, they had to evacuate the building.

"I came home from work and I was told I can't be in my apartment because it's being condemned," resident Jessica Tracy said. "This is just crazy, all the sudden with no notice, I don't know what I'm gonna do."

The New Haven Fire Department said the building is uninhabitable, saying there is structural instability due to decay over years.

New Haven Fire Assistant Chief of Operations Mark Vendetto said floors in the building are sagging and some of the wood is rotting.

Fire officials were called to the apartment building around 3 p.m., Thursday by the city's building department.

"LCI was doing their annual inspections of the building for their licensing and when they saw it they had concerns so they made arrangements with the property manager, maintenance staff, and that's when they had an independent structure engineer also meet them out here with the building department," he said.

Vendetto said the structure was built in 1900 and 38 of the 41 units are occupied.

Resident Lindsey Yeaton showed FOX61 pictures of her apartment and pointed out mold and decay in different rooms.

"It's gross, it's disgusting, it makes me sick to my stomach. I have a kid that lives here and I've been telling them for months to fix it and they just block my number," she said referring to management.

"I have mold coming through my bedroom wall, they cut a big hole in my wall to fix a pipe that they never patched up the wall," Tracy said.

Christopher Randazzo, identified as the Property Maintenance Manager, hired by the management company said they are trying to get the problems fixed to get the residents back into the building as soon as possible.

"Just some structural stuff that has to be repaired, that's all, it’s nothing major it’s not like the building is in jeopardy of collapsing at this point in time, it’s not," he said. "This is a precautionary measure, that's all it is."

The property manager is putting the residents in motels until further notice. When asked to speak with FOX61, he said "no comment."

New Haven police were still on scene, Thursday night, securing the building.

It has not been made clear if and when residents will be allowed back inside.