Tuesday was the deadline for residents to move out of a Peoria apartment building declared unsafe. Authorities were back at the high rise for several hours during the day..
Fire Inspector Brad Pierson says that one o'clock deadline was extended for an hour to give the folks a chance to get all of their belongings.
U-hauls, moving trucks, and residents carrying boxes has been the picture at 1505 on the Avenue since last Thursday when code enforcement declared the building unsafe.
"Our ultimate goal is safe residential property and safe for people to work in or visit. so we're gonna work hopefully with the owner to do that," said Peoria Fire Inspector Brad Pierson.
Code enforcement shut the 11 story high rise down because of electrical problems. They say the landlord Penn Terrace Towers, has failed to fix for more than two months. Those electrical problems came to light after a fire inside the building back in July. Peoria Community Development official Joe Dulin says as of Tuesday the landlord's fine doubled to $380,000. dollars. Peoria City Council Member Tim Riggenbach says public safety is critical.
"We're not asking for beautiful improvements. We're asking for life safety issues here. This truly is about ensuring the safety of the people that live there. So it's not like we're being unreasonable in any stretch of the imagination," he said.
Social service agencies like the United Way, Salvation Army, South Side Office of Concern, and Community Action Agency have been helping residents with relocation costs. We reached out to local attorney Thomas McConnaughay, who represents the landlord. He has not returned our phone calls. The city has set a hearing date for January 9th at City Hall where they'll have a chance to challenge the fine.