Article Courtesy of News Channel 8
By Victoria Price
Published December 1, 2018
CLEARWATER - Three months ago to the day, a fire displaced dozens at
Imperial Cove condominiums in Clearwater. Residents say they're frustrated
by the lack of repairs since then.
Nearly a dozen units were damaged at Imperial Cove when a
fire tore through during the early morning hours of August 28th.
All of the residents got out okay, but three firefighters were hurt battling
the blaze. Condo owners were told the AC units on the roof likely sparked
Imperial Cove is a 55 plus community with many senior citizens. Some have
been forced to move into motels indefinitely, others are stuck without
heating or air as they wait for the roof to be repaired.
Mary Shroba says it's been tough. She's been relying on friends within the
complex for a place to stay after her fourth floor condo was gutted by fire.
"For somebody to give you a place for months, it's
incredible," she said. "It really is."
Condo association treasurer Ray Henney says a contractor is ready and
waiting to fix the damaged roof. But he says it took months for an architect
to draw up plans.
Now they have to wait on approval from Clearwater's planning department
before they can move forward, he says.
"We're frustrated," Henney explained. "We're frustrated."
Aside from the unlivable units, Henney says roughly half the condos in the
building have been without heating or air since the fire.
Insurance initially brought in temporary cooling units during the summer,
but now he says heating is an issue, as temperatures dip into the 40s.
"We're hoping this cold goes away quick," Henney said.
Thankful for friends that have given her a home this holiday season, you can
guess what's at the top of Shroba's wish list.
"We need a roof!" she exclaimed.
The condo association says the earliest the roof could be repaired by is the
end of January or early February.