More than 80 tenants of an apartment complex in Holiday were evacuated Tuesday night after the heavy rains caused a ceiling to collapse in one of the buildings.
Residents at The Park at Barrington Place in Holiday were woken up by the sound of firefighters banging on their doors.
"I stick my head out, and the firemen are saying, ‘you need to get your stuff and get out as quick as possible, it looks like the building's collapsing,' " said Gabriel Cochrane, who has lived at the complex on Plaza Drive for two years.
A property manager told FOX 13 News the damage does not appear to be structural, although officials planned to prop up at least one overhang late in the day.
"It's not a structural issue. The building's not falling down," said Ben Mallah, Regional Property Manager for Equity Management. "It's clear that this building was built out of concrete with the proper support. It's just the exterior stucco has gotten loose from an area [due to] water penetration and it got loose and it fell down."
Several tenants said the damage seems much worse than management claimed; they said this kind of damage had been building for years and their complaints had gone unanswered.
"So many times you couldn't believe," Cochrane said. "I go in there and complain, but what they do is don't actually write down the complaints."
Officials at the apartment complex disputed the amount of complaints they've received.
Mallah said the tenants who aren't able to go into their apartments are being boarded temporarily at a nearby hotel. He said the owner of the complex will offer to move tenants to other apartments and plans to work with those hoping to get out of their leases.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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