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Richmond apartment building evacuated due to safety concerns

October 23, 2021 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Residents of a 10-story apartment building in downtown Richmond, Virginia, have been evacuated after city inspectors ruled it unsafe.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the evacuation was ordered after an inspection on Friday at Grace Place Apartments.

A statement from the Richmond Fire & Emergency Services said the Richmond Fire Marshal’s Office and the Department of Planning & Development Review deemed it unsafe.

The number of occupied apartments and evacuees were not available Saturday. City records indicate there are 54 units. The building was constructed in 1922.

Officials said it is the responsibility of the property owner/property management to notify tenants and to handle temporary living arrangements for them.

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The owners, listed in city records as the 400 East Grace Street Limited Partnership, could not be reached for comment Saturday.

An operator for the management company said no information would be available until normal business hours Monday.

A statement from Amy Vu, a spokesperson for Richmond Fire & Emergency Services, says that before tenants can return, the property owner or manager must repair the fire suppression systems, the elevators and an alarm panel. Also, the statement says a structural engineer needs to ensure the building is structurally sound and produce a report to support that finding.