Three months ago to the day, a fire displaced dozens at Imperial Cove condominiums in Clearwater. Residents say they’re frustrated by the lack of repairs since then.
All of the residents got out okay, but three firefighters were hurt battling the blaze. Condo owners were told the AC units on the roof likely sparked the fire.
Imperial Cove is a 55 plus community with many senior citizens. Some have been forced to move into motels indefinitely, others are stuck without heating or air as they wait for the roof to be repaired.
Mary Shroba says it’s been tough. She’s been relying on friends within the complex for a place to stay after her fourth floor condo was gutted by fire.
“For somebody to give you a place for months, it’s incredible,” she said. “It really is.”
Condo association treasurer Ray Henney says a contractor is ready and waiting to fix the damaged roof. But he says it took months for an architect to draw up plans.
Now they have to wait on approval from Clearwater’s planning department before they can move forward, he says.
“We’re frustrated,” Henney explained. “We’re frustrated.”
Aside from the unlivable units, Henney says roughly half the condos in the building have been without heating or air since the fire.
Insurance initially brought in temporary cooling units during the summer, but now he says heating is an issue, as temperatures dip into the 40s.
“We’re hoping this cold goes away quick,” Henney said.
Thankful for friends that have given her a home this holiday season, you can guess what’s at the top of Shroba’s wish list.
“We need a roof!” she exclaimed.
The condo association says the earliest the roof could be repaired by is the end of January or early February.