Oak Creek apartment building declared dangerous
Steamboat Springs — Following an inspection, an Oak Creek apartment building has been deemed uninhabitable, displacing at least six people.
“I am very sorry for the impact this has had on the residents,” building owner Scott Wedel said in an email. “I have arranged and been paying for their lodging so claims to the contrary are lies.”
It is unclear when residents might be able to return to the apartments.
“I don’t anticipate them being back in that building anytime soon,” Routt County Building Official Ben Grush said. “The main power coming into the building is installed in a very dangerous scenario.”
The issues began the night of Dec. 3, when Oak Creek firefighters responded to 219 South Sharp St. for a possible gas leak.
According to a news release, firefighters found elevated carbon monoxide levels inside all the residences at the four-unit apartment building.
The people living in one unit decided not to spend the night. At another unit, the residents stayed without heat. The heat in the other two units was working properly, and the residents were able to stay.
Wedel made some repairs to the furnaces, but on Sunday, firefighters found carbon monoxide was leaking into the apartments through the ducts.
Wedel was told the furnaces would be shut down until they were repaired by a licensed repairman.
Oak Creek fire officials observed fire code violations and told Wedel the property would be inspected.
That was done Tuesday, and fire, town and county officials determined there were significant life-safety issues.
“This was very much a life-and-death issue,” Grush said.
The property was deemed uninhabitable by the officials who inspected the property. The building was also declared dangerous.
That same day, tenants were notified they could no longer stay in the apartments.
Housing arrangements for tenants were made for three days, according to the news release.
“I have been searching for, but have been unable to locate replacement housing,” said Wedel, who said he only wanted to communicate by email because he did not want to risk saying something that might be taken out of context.
Two of units are eligible as section-eight housing, and Wedel said they had been inspected to meet standards set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Obviously, I have made mistakes for this to have happened,” Wedel said.
The building department found 19 electrical violations, four plumbing violations, 11 mechanical violations and 10 building violations.
The violations range in severity from overloaded circuits to missing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
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