Ferguson residents forced out of apartments after building labeled unsafe

FERGUSON, Mo. – Residents of a Ferguson apartment complex said it’s been a chaotic 24 hours after their building was deemed unsafe to occupy and they were forced to move out.

It all began a couple weeks ago when Ferguson inspectors noticed cracks in the concrete and called in a structural engineer. People said their lives have been chaotic and hectic since then.

The structural engineer was checking out cracks in the upstairs sidewalk of one building Tuesday afternoon and made a frightening discovery.

“During the inspection process, a large piece of concrete fell after being tested or prodded by the engineer,” said Matthew Unrein, the Ferguson Public Works Director and Assistant City Manager.

City officials moved quickly to put warning signs in place and tell people to move out. Thirteen of 16 units had been occupied.

The apartment owner put the affected residents in other buildings. Movers also arrived on the scene. Friends of some residents arrived to come of their aid.

Not only were folks going through a stressful move, but the whole incident also cost residents money.

“I’m losing pay from my employer. I had to take off of work early yesterday when it initially happened,” said Michelle Seddens, who works from home and needs the internet to earn a living.

Seddens said her internet won’t be connected until Thursday, costing her more money.

The new units people moved into were not always problem free.

“We can’t turn on the shower on,” said resident Canesha Roy.

Meanwhile, city inspectors were busy checking out all the buildings in the complex.

“We’re going to look at all of them were going to make sure this isn’t reproduced anywhere else. Our residents' safety is very important to us,” Unrein said.

Ferguson officials said it appears apartment workers tried to fill cracks with cement and caulk but they’re not sure if that was the right thing to do. The city was awaiting the results of the structural engineer to decide what should be done next.