LAKEWOOD, Ohio — The City of Lakewood has filed criminal charges against the property owner, management company and construction company in connection to a two-story garage collapse at Marine Towers West in Lakewood just days before Christmas.
Complaints were filed in Lakewood Municipal Court against Marine Towers, Burton Carol Management and Atlas Masonry for failure to secure a permit, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, before allegedly starting repair work on the garage that sat adjacent to Marine Towers.
Mayor Meghan George said the city's investigation showed a construction company was working on the garage the morning of the collapse, despite not filing a permit with the city.
"It's very concerning," said George. "I mean we're talking about property damage today but if this was earlier in the day we could be talking about loss of life. We have a permit process for a reason, It's to make sure that any work being done on a structure is the proper work and we have inspectors on-site to make sure the work is done properly."
Burton Carol Management released the following statement following the filing:
We fully support and welcome the city of Lakewood's thorough investigation into this matter. We have from the outset been united with the city and all parties working to determine the cause. We would not want to say anything to the media that in any way could hamper or jeopardize the ongoing investigation. Marine Towers West, including the garage, has always been in full compliance with all city inspections as we take great pride in caring for and maintaining the property. Our company's reputation, not just with our residents but with city officials, is of paramount importance to us. Any contract we enter into clearly requires that the contractor pull all necessary permits as required by law,
Chief Operating Officer
Burton Carol Management, LLC
Two days before Christmas, the top level of the building's parking garage appeared to have collapsed onto the lower level of the garage in what he described as a "pancake collapse," at around 9:40 a.m.
One woman who lives in the building adjacent to the collapsed parking garage said it felt like an earthquake.
"I looked out the window and saw everyone running around and hearing people saying '911' so I ran,” she said.
Residents inside Marine Towers were told to leave as a precaution while structural engineers surveyed the building. Residents were allowed to return the next day after no additional problems were found.
The mayor said the city is investigating what went wrong and caused the collapse.
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