Residents in Ybor warehouse evicted - FOX 13 News

Residents in Ybor warehouse evicted

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

People living in a warehouse in Tampa have been given evictions notices after inspectors said the building violated city codes, and is not safe.

The building is along 7th Avenue and 37th Street.

There are about 30 people living in the warehouse, which the owner had set up as a hostel for low-income people. Many of the residents were previously homeless and some have criminal records.

Andrew Cotton is one resident who will be forced out.

"This is my room, living quarters," said Andrew Cotton. He showed us his room, saying he has three days to move out.

"Shocked because when you're coming home from work, that's the last you want to hear is you got 72 hours to move out," Cotton said.

This eviction notices were put on the doors this week.

"They had some major code violations as far as life safety is concerned," said Fire Marshal Milton Jenkins.

Violations, officials say, like 63 inoperative sprinkler heads, no fire alarm system and exposed wires to name a few. Inspectors say it is a serious fire hazard.

Owner Mike Arodak says he's been working with the city on bringing the building up to code, but says he needs more time to finish it all.

"The building is very safe," Arodak said. "The exposed wire is, majority of it is cable wire, no voltage. The building was inspected several times with the fire marshal," he said. "I feel very bad for them, and we have in Tampa large population of homeless and jobless and I think we should work with the city to help this condition,"

"Even though you may be doing an admirable service by providing low income housing places for homeless to stay, it still has to be in a safe way," Jenkins said.

Residents may get some financial help from the city to relocate, but many just don't know where they'll go next.

"Some people might be homeless behind it," Cotton said.

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