Sewage pipe burst forces tenants out of Norwich apartment building

Norwich, Conn. (WTNH)–A burst sewer pipe sent raw sewage into an apartment building at 44 Laurel Avenue in Norwich, forcing residents to find another place to live.

Health inspectors demanded the building be condemned.

Inspectors were first called to the property because of complaints about a sink hole. One of the tenants even put down a mattress to protect people from falling in.

But after taking a closer look at the property, it was found that there was a whole host of problems.

A sign on the door outside declares the house “Temporarily Condemned.” But even city inspectors don’t know when that will be lifted. Bringing the Laurel Hill Avenue house back up to code will not be an easy fix.

“The tenants were telling us that they were having sewage actually backing up into apartments,” said Patrick McCormack of the Uncas Health District. “There was actually a sink hole as a result of the sewer line break.”

That break sent raw sewage out from under the eight-unit house. Twelve adults and two children were forced out when the city stepped in. Norwich Human Services asked to help them find other apartments and placed a $26,000 lien on this property to cover relocation costs. But that’s just the beginning.

“It’s going to be quite costly,” McCormack said. “There’s a lot of ledge in this particular area so it’s going to be difficult to even find someone to do the work.”

News 8 was unable to get in touch with the owner who took over the property last month. Right now it is seen as a safety, fire, and health hazard. Fortunately with the tenants out the sewage flow has stopped.

“You know we’re lucky it’s cold right now there’s not a lot of issues with flies and vermin,” McCormack said.

Folks at Human Services said this situation is really nothing new. They see about two homes condemned in the city each month. In fact, there was another one just across the street.

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