A 77-year-old woman and a 7-month-old are doing OK after the roof of their Hollywood apartment collapsed Wednesday morning while they were inside, but now residents and management are currently at odds for who is responsible for the collapse.
The first thing Andy Ayla saw when he rushed back to this Carlton Way apartment which he shares with grandmother was the sight of blood. Their home for 40 years was destroyed with a gaping hole left in the ceiling and two of his loved ones were injured.
Around 10 a.m., Andy’s 77-year-old grandmother and 7-month-old niece were in the living room sitting on the couch as pieces of the ceiling began falling.
The family said the baby was rushed to the hospital to be treated for scratches to the face and a head injury. She has since been released from the hospital.
Neighbors said they weren’t surprised something like this happened right next door.
“I’m constantly calling for plumbing issues, water is running, toilets are running, cockroaches are unbelievable,” said Fiona Duncan, a resident of the complex.
Ayla said he had been concerned about something like this happening and he tried repeatedly to get property managers to address the problem.
“We had a leak two months ago from the upstairs apartment,” Ayla said. “We called the management, they didn’t care about it and just called the guy and told him turn off the water.”
In video from March 15 shared with KTLA, water is seen coming from an upstairs apartment and into Ayla’s living room. Water was even leaking through the kitchen light fixture. Ayla said they made several unanswered claims to management group, Wilshire Properties.
“They didn’t say nothing, they didn’t care and obviously this happened,” Ayla said.
Niv Davidovich is a lawyer representing Wilshire Properties. He said his client is an “extremely conscientious and attentive manager who responds to every request for repairs and maintenance.”
For residents like Duncan and Ayla, they say that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“They never sent a plumber out or anybody to inspect what happened,” Duncan said.
Davidovich said contractors evaluated the source of the leak and said it was nothing to do with the building, but rather negligence on behalf of the person who lived in the apartment. Ayla didn’t necessarily disagree, but said they tried to talk with their neighbor about the leak. He said they simply didn’t care.
The lawyer for the property company said his client did all that could be done.
“They cannot predict unpredictable things, they can not see things that are hidden, but even when that occurs they take responsibility, they make immediate repairs and they take responsibility that their tenants are safe,” Davidovich said.
The property managers have provided displaced residents a hotel for the night, and Davidovich said repairs were being made Wednesday night, and they can safely return to the unit Thursday. However, some residents said they still do not feel safe to return.