INDIANAPOLIS — Residents of a north Indianapolis apartment complex have endured several arsons, poor living conditions and this summer almost had their water cut off.
This past weekend, fire trucks were back at the complex, battling another fire in just a matter of months.
“It makes me mad enough to cry and when I get mad enough to cry, I’m mad,” explained John Brent, who said he’s had enough of sleepless nights while living at Lakeside Pointe Apartments in Nora, worrying whether there’ll be another fire and if he’ll be able to escape it.
This past weekend marked the 20th fire the Indianapolis Fire Department says it has responded to at the complex since the first of the year.
In June, the apartment complex’s clubhouse was destroyed by another fire.
“It causes a fear and an anxiety,” said Brent.
This past Saturday, Brent’s fears only grew, watching several apartments at the complex destroyed by this latest fire.
“Can you imagine what these families with little kids feel like?” Brent asked.
According to IFD, 30 or so residents, some of them children, were displaced by the fire. The cause is still unknown.
"Every day that passes is one day too many for people to live in this apartment complex under these conditions they are living under today,” said Indiana State Senator Fady Qaddoura, D-Indianapolis, who’s been working with community advocates and Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita to get help for residents who say they’re also dealing with mold, holes in the ceilings and plumbing issues. Issues they say the complex’s owners and management refuse to address.
This past summer, Citizens Energy threatened to turn off the water at Lakeside Pointe Apartments, telling tenants that the apartment’s owner, listed as Fox Lake AHF on an IRS Form 990, hadn’t been paying the water bill.
This fall, the attorney general filed a lawsuit against the complex’s owners, asking a judge to appoint an outside third party to take over ownership and management of the complex.
The judge, instead, ordered mediation.
“They can’t wait for 30 days until mediation takes place. They’ve been waiting months and months and months for a resolution,” said Qaddoura.
Community groups and neighbors have also stepped up to be a voice on behalf of residents.
“We wanted ownership to change hands because ownership has not done what they needed to do,” said Debi Alexander with the Nora Neighborhood Association.
“If nothing changes, nothing changes and we’re still here,” said neighbor Elizabeth Essink.
They are all waiting for a legal process to run its course, leaving residents like John Brent wondering, when it does, if he and his neighbors can hope for conditions at the complex to get better.
“We’re up to here with it. We don’t know what else to do,” said Brent.
13News reached out via email to the property’s managers, Aloft Management, for comment on this story, but did not receive a response.