The fire marshal cited Vista Shadow Mountain apartments on Thursday for four violations of the city’s fire code, a move that could force tenants at the complex to be out by July 21.
The violations include open walls in apartments, open ceilings, electrical hazards and generally unsafe conditions.
“On this date, there are several buildings that have significant structure damage and fire code violations that deem the structures to be uninhabitable and a danger to occupants living there,” the citation notice states.
Tulsa Fire Department spokesman Andrew Little said he expected the fire marshal’s inspection to run late into the day and that some buildings in the massive complex could be deemed habitable.
“There is a possibility that they might find a building that does not have a violation put on it,” Little said.
If the apartment complex does not fix the issues cited in the notice by July 21, residents will have to leave their units by that date, and all of the apartment buildings will have to be secured by the owner by July 28 “to make sure someone else doesn’t get in there, until the point where it’s safe,” Little said. “And (now) it’s not safe for anybody.”
The apartments would not be allowed to reopen to the public “until a proper action plan of remediation is agreed upon between the Owner/Property Manager, City of Tulsa, and the Fire Marshal’s Office,” according to the notice.
The property also has been placed on fire watch, a designation that requires the manager or owner of the apartments to have someone monitoring them for fire 24/7.
The fire marshal and inspectors from the city’s Working in Neighborhoods Department and the Tulsa Health Department are examining the apartment complex this week after City Councilor Lori Decter Wright and state Rep. Melissa Provenzano visited the property over the weekend to offer tenants assistance and to see the conditions for themselves.
City records show that the complex, at 6000 S. Memorial Drive, has 600 units, about 30% of which were occupied as of last week.
Tulsa County Assessor’s Office property records show that a New Jersey-based company called CiTYR owns the property.
Vista Shadow Mountain did not return a call from the Tulsa World on Thursday seeking comment on the fire marshal’s notice of violations.
In detailing the problems at the complex, the notice states that residents are living in buildings that could be exposed to “rapid fire spread” due to the removal of wallboards and exposed electrical wiring.
The complex has been a public safety concern for city officials for some time. Saturday’s visit by Wright and Provenzano was prompted in part by news that approximately 50 tenants had been notified that they needed to relocate by the end of June because their units were deemed uninhabitable.