Norwich officials condemn 11-unit apartment house

Norwich – City officials condemned a two-story 11-unit apartment building at 49-51 Sachem St. Friday after a structural engineer said the building was in imminent danger of collapse and should be evacuated immediately.

One tenant told city Assistant Building Official Greg Arpin that “it felt like the building was having earthquakes.”

The condemnation displaced the 13 adults living in the building, which is owned by Sachem Street LLC, headed by Craig Silver of Old Lyme.

Arpin said Monday an insurance adjuster had gone to the building for an inspection after the building maintenance man asked questions about coverage. The insurance adjuster became concerned about bowing walls and cracks and called a structural engineer, who recommended the building be vacated.

Arpin and a city fire marshal inspected the building and called an engineer from CLA Engineers in Norwich. The engineer reported that the building had been “rapidly deteriorating” over the past few days.

City officials immediately condemned the building Friday and ordered all 13 tenants to vacate.

Norwich Human Services Director Lee Ann Gomes said Monday she is working with 10 tenants from seven of the condemned apartments, and all are adults. She said she has been told that no children lived in the building.

Director of Inspections James Troeger said the condemnation order calls for the owner to hire a structural engineer to determine what needs to be done to make the building safe or to demolish it. He said the owner had installed temporary columns recently to try to shore up the building.

c.bessette@theday.com

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