Elderly residents complain of faulty elevator

By Fred Childers - email | bio

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -   "Out of order," reads a sign on an elevator at the Wellington Sqaure Apartments on Jewella Avenue. "It's been three weeks, it's been three weeks", says Minnie Felder, a tenant. She says she reads that sign every time she leaves her apartment ,"We have problems coming down the steps, you know we're 80, 90 year old people, it's hard for them to come down the steps, and one lady her arm has swollen from pulling," says Minnie.
    But the tenants make do and use the stairs anyway, some of them have to come down three flights of stairs and over the last three weeks, they've already had several near falls. Tenants say management has not even approached them about the elevator, however there are some conflicting reports on the communication, "Oh yeah, she's talking to them," says tenant, Victor Davis. But the on site manager had little information for me. When I asked her if the elevator was going to be fixed anytime soon, she remained silent, she also remained silent when I asked her if it had been out for three weeks. But those questions were answered by the property manager in California yesterday, he told News 12 on the phone that  it hasn't been three weeks, it's been off and on, Tenants are being communicated with, and that technicians have been working on the elevator diligently.  
    Today when we arrived unannounced, that claim was confirmed. "If we had a fire we in trouble", says Minnie. But the Shreveport Fire Department says it's not the tenant who would use the elevator during a fire, the firefighters would. The fire department says the elevator in the building is an ongoing problem, and the building is so old that old codes apply to the elevator. An investigator with the fire department is visiting the complex today (Thursday) to determine if a code should be enforced.
    Even if the elevator is off and on, and even if the firefighters use the elevator during times of fire, when the elevator is down, those concerns loom for residents who have a hard time moving.