Asbestos Keeps Fire Victims Out

Dangerous asbestos is keeping tenants from claiming their belongings more than two weeks after a three-alarm fire destroyed part of their apartment building in Framingham, Mass.

According to an article in MetroWest Daily News, more than 100 apartment dwellers have been prevented from re-entering the building and collecting their property because the fire left dangerous asbestos dust on the premises at Edgewater-1 Jefferson Village, built in 1966.

“I still haven’t been allowed back in,” said Laura Fritz, who lived in the apartment building for 3 years. She’s anxiously awaiting the opportunity to claim that $20,000 in belongings she says are inside her unit. Her insurance adjuster, she says, can’t get in either.

Fritz said an official told residents of the complex, “If you go in, you’ll be arrested.”
According to the state Department of Environmental Protection, the complex has been granted an asbestos abatement permit to clear several thousand square feet of asbestos from the building. Asbestos was found in the ceilings, pipe fittings and other areas of the structure, according to DEP spokesman Joe Ferson.

“As a matter of public safety, you can’t have people going in that area,” said Ferson, who noted the permit is valid until June.

Ferson added that before the building will be declared safe for residents to re-enter, air quality tests will need to be completed.

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