Tenants injured after balcony collapsed in Holly Heights

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Three people were injured in the Holly Heights neighborhood after their balcony collapsed while they were on it Wednesday afternoon. The building is now condemned and uninhabitable. The tenants of the apartment said they had made complaints to the landlord before.

"My kids had to experience this. My grandson had to experience this. Enough is enough," said Lenora Whitaker. Her daughter Lawanda Wade was sitting on her front porch balcony with her sister.

"When my son came out the door and stepped down, that's when we just went falling crashing down," said Wade.

Whitaker lives in the building next door, owned by another landlord.

Wade said, "I was laying in bed watching TV when all of a sudden I heard this loud noise."

"We thought the rest of the balcony was going to fall on us," said Wade.

Wade is wearing a neck brace and suffering from bruised ribs. Red Cross put her and her family up in a hotel.

"We don't have any clothes and we're temporarily here in this hotel and I've been asking the property manager about relocating us."

The property is managed by Trippe Realty Management.

Owner of the management company Pat Trippe said they just started managing the property three weeks ago and did not realize the problems were so bad.

"I mean she goes around collecting money and collecting rent but she can't get the building fixed."

The building was recently sold by RHG Apartments to Provincial Enterprise in September.

Wade said her neighbors have complained about the staircase before, and it wasn't the only thing wrong.

"We had mold issues, my oldest son got sick behind the mold that was coming in in the apartment and in the cabinets, a lot of stuff was going wrong."

Trippe said they're working with code enforcement and contractors to let the residents back into their homes. A contractor came out to remove the staircase on Thursday.

Wade's attorney Robert Rush is looking into code violations.