New London Elevator

(WFSB)

NEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) -- A broken elevator is raising concerns for disabled tenants in a four-story apartment complex in New London.

Channel 3 spoke with residents on Tuesday who said they are forced to climb up at least 4 flights of stairs until repairs can be made.

The elevator at Farmington Avenue Apartments has been busted since Thanksgiving, residents told Channel 3.

Records obtained by Channel 3 show the City of New London has responded dozens of times over the years to people trapped inside.

Channel 3 New London Bureau Chief Kevin Hogan spoke with 57-year-old Farmington Avenue Apartments resident, Louis Tuttle, who said he is disabled due to a knee problem and uses a walker to get around.

Tuttle said he must climb 4 flights of stairs to reach his apartment.

“Some of my neighbors are moving out because of the situation,” said Tuttle.

A sole elevator in the building services the entire complex, but a notice which reads the elevator needs repair has been posted since Thanksgiving.

“It’s going to be down more because they’re not sure if they can get the parts or not,” said Tuttle.

The complex is owned by tenants through the Farmington Arms Condo Association and the property itself is maintained by Northeast Property Group.

Channel 3 spoke with the City of New London’s Fire Marshal, Vernon Skau who said he has inspected the building several times. He said elevator repair or replacement could cost up to $250,000.

“At this point their trying to determine what the problem is,” described Skau.

When Channel 3 asked Skau if tenants are safe, he responded with a yes.

“The second thing the building department did is to make sure that from a property maintenance code the building is as safe as possible.”

Channel 3 learned the New London Fire Marshal’s office has been called to the apartment complex at least once a year for the past five years.

The State Elevator Inspector’s Office told Channel 3 they’ve checked the elevator several times, in 2011, in 2014, and in 2016, and the problems were all corrected.

As for Northeast Property, Channel 3 stopped by, called, and texted, but to no avail.

Until the elevator is repaired, the Fire Department will send a truck anytime disabled tenants cannot get out on their own.

“There’s other people down the hall who can’t do it because they have no legs,” said Tuttle.

Fire Marshal Skau told Channel 3 the part used to repair the 56-year-old elevator is no longer in production. For the elevator to be repaired, the part must be custom made, said Skau.

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