Condo residents struggling to return to normalcy 1 month after fatal fire

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on June 21, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 21 at 11:34 PM

Condo fire

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DALLAS -- Veronica Barajas is leasing a condo at the Hearthwood North Condominiums in northeast Dallas. She says the place is falling apart.

"I had to break the door to get my [three-year-old] child out of the bathroom -- that's how bad the foundation is," she said.

The condos were the location of a fire that killed Dallas firefighter Stanley Wilson on May 20.

Barajas said for several weeks after that fire, she had no hot water or electricity. She was given a voucher by the Dallas Housing authority to move, but it was canceled this week.

"They said they canceled our vouchers because they said it was livable, and the hot water was functioning," Barajas said.

Other residents say they, too, are stuck at the complex.

Larry Williams owns a condo in Building 6, right next to the building that burned. He and dozens of others aren't being allowed to move back in.

“I’ve been going from place to place, trying to find a place to stay," Williams said.

He said it could be six-to-eight months before he can go back home.

"I don't where I am going to sleep from one night to the next," he said.

Many living here say they're worried because there have been three big fires since 2009, and the Homes Owners Association that is supposed to be overseeing repairs and reconstruction is in bankruptcy and arguing over insurance money.

“It ain’t our fault, but we are still the victims," Williams said.

News 8 tried reaching the Dallas Housing Authority and the homeowner's association for comment, but they did not return our calls.

Meanwhile, arson investigators still have not released the cause of fire and the investigation continues.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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