ACORN PROTEST - Jen Germaine

12/23/04

Members of ACORN gathered at the Code Enforement office in Ybor today, to protest what they believe is the city's part in the death of a woman earlier this month. For WMNF, Jen Germaine reports.

A few blocks from Centro Ybor, where people come for the nightlife, resturants, and to spend their leisure time, a burned out housing unit stands. On December 11th a fire in the boarding house killed 1 woman and left 7 people homeless.

About 20 members of ACORN, along with those who survived the fire, chanted as they walked up the stairs into the Code Enforcement building on East 7th Ave. Although the fire was caused by a unattended cooking pot, the group blames Code Enforcement for Ruthy's death because it continually cited the buildings owners, Danny Tomlinson and William Atkins, but did not force them to repair wiring or fire detectors.

(chanting)

They were stopped in the lobby by Code Enforcement director Curtis Lane.

(exchange)

The group moved to 22nd Street, to show the media the place where Ruthy died, AND the temporary housing about a half-dozen of the residents were moved.

(tour)

Rotted floors, mold covered walls, and a broken fire detector hangs from the ceiling of Deborah Crismond's new room only feet from where she escaped the fire on the 11th.

(deborah)

WMNF asked Code Enforcement Director Curtis Lane about the condition of the building that burned down, the citations, and the residents current situation.

(curtis)

Lane stated he was unaware of the situation, the fire, and after he was given the address of the property, he stated he would contact us when he received more information.

(curtis)

Members of the group stated they were insulted by Code Enforements response.

(lady)

Reporting for WMNF this is Jen Germaine

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