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Ansonia residents with no home after city officials condemned apartment building

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ANSONIA -- Dozens of Ansonia residents are without a place to call home after city officials condemned their Main Street apartment building.

Early Tuesday morning, the Ansonia Fire Department responded to a report of a burst pipe inside of Capitol Plaza Apartments, located right across the street from City Hall.

When fire crews responded, they found multiple safety code violations, including extension cords connected to space heaters running down the hallways. In response, city officials condemned the building.

Residents were sent to the Senior Center, a city warming center, to wait for information about hotel room accommodations.

"It's an experience," said Brenda Bashaw, a third-floor resident of the building.

City officials said the building has been the subject of many safety violations in the past, and fire crews were known to respond to the building on a somewhat regular basis.

"We're going to get everything repaired," said David Cassetti, the mayor of Ansonia. "Before any of the residents return, we are going to make sure the code violations are corrected."

Matthew Harp, the son of New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, manages the building. Mr. Harp said he wants this resolved as soon as possible. His company, Abacus Property Management, put residents up in a nearby hotel.

All of this was news to Richard Nash, who returned home Tuesday at 6 p.m.

"I got home tonight with pizza in the car and the locks have been changed," said Nash, who has lived in the building for 15 years. "There are no lights at all, which means they probably shut the power off."

Officials had, in fact, turned off the power, but Nash left the building in the wee hours of the morning, just minutes before chaos ensued.

"Nobody called me," said Nash. "I wear a CPAP machine. I could die at night if I don't have that. I'm locked out."

Phone calls to the fire department and building officials helped Nash get back into his apartment to retrieve his necessary belongings.

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