guest blog by Nila Ridings
It is too soon to know if this massive explosion was caused by a gas leak, an improperly marked gas line, or incompetence by contractors…or any other cause. What is known is one person has lost their life in this condo explosion. Countless others are homeless or unaccounted for at this time.
A fire marshall once told me this type of situation is their worst nightmare: People in attached housing. Difficulty knowing who was in the units. And the difficulty of knowing where to begin looking for survivors. He also mentioned many HOAs have narrow streets that make it difficult to get fire trucks and equipment to the engulfed units. That is compounded by people parking vehicles on the narrow private streets which impedes the first responders’ access and delays response time.
Sadly, these owners are left with rebuilding (which I would want no part of) and making payments on a place where they cannot live. In addition, they have HOA dues to pay on a place that is totally destroyed. And their personal possessions are completely wiped out. Will they all have insurance to cover the damages? If they don’t, who pays for the rebuild? No doubt there will be lawsuits to determine the blame and while those process through the court system the owners continue to suffer.
This makes me think. If this happened in an apartment complex, victims would find a new apartment and move on to rebuilding their lives. But in a condo you’re stuck with no say in when, who, how, or if there is a rebuild. You’re faced with the payments, no place to live, and your life in turmoil and at the mercy of a group of board members to make a decision about your future living arrangement.
Lesson learned. Condo living is looking even less desirable.
My heart goes out to all of these condo owners for their suffering and loss. Sadly, they are facing some very difficult days ahead.