A resident in Crowne Pointe Apartments on Long Drive, in Rockingham, got a nasty surprise when her ceiling fell in and water covered her downstairs floors Thursday.
Three fire trucks from Rockingham Fire Department were on the scene, along with firefighters, responding to the call.
“It appears that a water line busted, and the sheet rock in the ceiling got wet and fell down,” said Troy Sorrell, with the department. “No one was hurt.”
Jessica McLaurin, the occupant of the apartment, said she called the apartment’s assistant manager earlier in the day when she noticed what appeared to be a small leak.
“He told me not to worry about a little water,” she said. “Next thing I knew there was water coming out of light fixtures and the ceiling fell down. Now everything is wet and ruined.”
The water had begun to seep into her neighbor’s kitchen, and was being kept at bay with towels.
Cathryn Walls, who lives in the complex, said that the building has had ongoing issues that none of the residents can seem to get resolved through management or other avenues.
“We have mold, ant infestations, broken stoves, broken refrigerators and broken air conditioning in a lot of these apartments,” said Wall. “We’ve tried contacting H.U.D and building inspectors, but nothing is happening. Her ceiling isn’t the first one to fall in.”
Another neighbor, Christian Ingram, said ceilings have fallen in at least two other apartments.
“We have photos of mold growing in our apartments — on shoes, on furniture — everywhere,” said Ingram. “My daughter has respiratory problems and I’ve been told that’s what it’s coming from. The only action ever taken about the mold is that it’s been painted over.”
Ingram and her neighbors said they’ve been threatened with evictions over their complaints about the condition of the apartments.
The assistant manager of the apartment complex, whose name could not be confirmed, refused to comment when approached Thursday.
McLaurin was unable to go back into her apartment on Thursday, and the Red Cross of Richmond County was called to assist her and her child in finding temporary housing.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.