Residents of a condominium complex in East Hartford claimed they were forced to pay fees after a fire gutted their homes.
A three-alarm fire ripped through the Gateway Condo complex on Jan. 15 and sent 10 people to the hospital. The fire caused people to have to jump out of windows.
The January fire, which remains under investigation, was the sixth reported in three years.
On Wednesday, Eyewitness News toured the facility where windows were boarded up, pink warning signs were posted on doors and doors were padlocked.
"There isn't supposed to be anyone going in and out of our unit and every time I go in there to get the rest of my stuff, they haven't been working with me either to allow me to get my stuff," said tenant Jassin Penn.
Homeowners were sent a letter that stated condo and heating fees are still due monthly even though they can't live there. And if the fees were not paid, they would be charged late fees.
"You owe bills in terms of your mortgage, taxes, insurance," said Marilyn Lollar. "But now you have to pay the condo fees too, and no one is occupying the unit."
Employees in the management office told Eyewitness News they did not know why residents had to pay condo fees.
"They sent us a letter saying they were going to put cameras in," Penn said. "And they never put the cameras in and the following week there goes the whole building, went up in smoke."
Now, these homeowners are left in the dark and without a home.
"These people are heartless," Lollar said. "I mean, how dare they want additional late charges on top of condo fees and they were negligent. It's not right. It's just not right."
Carmelo Milio is the president of Milio Realty Corp, which is based in New York and the management company for the Gateway Condo complex in East Hartford
He said it's per state statue that regardless of what happens to the property, homeowners are required to pay heat and condo fees.
As far as security goes, the presidents said they have replaced locks on buildings every year and security cameras will be installed in some of the buildings in the next few weeks.
Renovations are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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