12 displaced after Ocean View roof collapse

Ocean View apartment roof collapse on June 21, 2014. (WAVY/Lex Gray)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Twelve people in Norfolk need to find a new place to live after the roof of their apartment building collapsed early Saturday morning on Little Bay Avenue in Ocean View.

A thunderstorm woke Rebecca Olter up early in the morning. She found her ceiling leaking, and scrambled to catch the water.

“It just started pouring, and these crates filled all the way up,” said Olter. “Then – BOOM – the whole ceiling fell.”

The roof collapsed into two apartments in the building. The City condemned the property. Now, Olter and her neighbors don’t have a place to stay.

“The Red Cross is going to put us up for three days, and basically after that, we’re out of luck,” said Nicole Garvey, who lives in the building.

Her landlord, Ronnie Boone, offered the tenants other properties. Garvey said they would have to pay higher rent, and some of them can’t afford it.

“We just paid the money to move in, and now we have to pay it again,” she said. “Him telling us ‘Well, that’s not my problem,’ it most certainly is your problem. Had you maintained your building, like you should have as a landlord and a realtor, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”

Boone said he does maintain the building, and other renters told WAVY News’ Lex Gray they’re happy with the property. He had crews working on the roof this week.

“We had a bad storm last night,” said Boone. “No question about it, that’s what caused it. We didn’t have any problems until 4 a.m. this morning.”

Some of Boone’s renters said otherwise.

“The code enforcement guy said the roof should have been fixed years ago,” said Garvey.

The code enforcement officer at the scene would not answer Lex Gray’s questions. Boone said he wasn’t aware of any problems with the condition of the roof until the storm came through.

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