Ceiling collapse at problem-plagued apartment complex

Hermine is just the latest plague on a local complex.

The recent rain in the Bay area from Hurricane Hermine has caused part of a ceiling to collapse at a Clearwater apartment complex. It seems roof issues still aren't fixed at Rogers Square Apartments located at 2025 Rogers Street in Clearwater.

10News WTSP first revealed code violations there in July and frustrated neighbors dealing with flooding and mold.

PREVIOUS STORY: Rain floods Clearwater apartments with violations

Now, more tenants are trying to stay safe and dry.

“The rain came in,” says tenant Gloria Ellis.

The water flooded the Ellis family’s apartment. “It was about up to here,” says Zane Ellis, pointing to the 3-inch waterline on the wall.

The ceiling came crashing down, they say from the weight of construction materials on the roof, right on 8th grader Zane and his trains.

“It hit my grandson on the head -- boom,” says Gloria Ellis.

“This fell, and that's when I got hit. Right here is where the ceiling fell on the layout. It didn't hurt that bad,” says Zane Ellis.

What hurts the most: the complex has been on the city's radar for violations for nearly 2 months, dealing with roof leaks raining down into units.

“There's mold growing from inside the window frame,” says former tenant Kaleena Johnson. Her family moved out fearing the health hazard.

“They have been taken care of, but there is no mold," an assistant manager told 10News in July. Management has denied the problem in the past. That apartment is where management just tried to move the Ellis family into after the ceiling collapse.

“It smelled moldy, and she said, ‘No, it doesn't smell moldy.’ They gave us [unit] 312,” says Zane Ellis.

Unit 312 had to be gutted after flooding in July. Adding insult to injury, the Ellis's say management upped their rent by $30 for the renovated unit. “No, it’s not right,” says Gloria Ellis.

Since 10News discovered problems at the complex, inspectors have gone door-to-door and found more violations. The city says it's been working with management to correct the issues.

Although, housing code doesn't address mold concerns, the county health department says tenants have to pay for air quality testing or take the complaint to the state.

PREVIOUS STORY: Who's protecting tenants in problem-plagued apartment?

“They just don't have the permits to complete the roof, yet,” says Zane Ellis.

The Ellis's hope what has been fixed will hold.

10News has repeatedly reached out to complex owners, Demetree Real Estate Services in Orlando, without receiving a response.


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