WAUKESH, Wisconsin. (CBS 58) – Condominium owners reunited today, exactly one year after police forced them to evacuate their homes in Waukesha for fear the building could collapse.
Forty-eight units are located inside Horizon West Condos. Residents recall feeling insecure that cold night. Some older people, some teenagers, some at home – now, with one thread in common – a broken heart they just can’t get over.
“We are still here. It hasn’t gone away,” said Diane McGuinn, the daughter of the owner of the apartment.
Mom Diane McGuinn, 87, has had a rough year after panicking about being kicked out of her fourth-floor home at Horizon West Condos.
“It was almost like the Titanic when it sank. It’s been 15 minutes, get out, you can never live here again,” McGuinn said.
Today it is Horizon West Condos on West Avenue in Waukesh. A year ago, it was declared structurally untenable.
“There was panic everywhere, people in the corridors were asking if this was true? This is true? Is this really happening?” McGee said.
The scars are both physical and emotional.
“During the move, she suffered a stress fracture in her back, and then it pissed her off. And then she started having heart problems,” McGuinn said.
Now Ione Kohler is back in the hospital, this is her sixth trip in the last year.
“Before that, she was just as energetic, active and very healthy,” McGuin said.
We learned that of the 48 affected families, some are still homeless – living with a family member, sleeping on sofas. Some of those who chose to rent an apartment faced credit problems because they could no longer pay their mortgages.
“The last year has been very hectic. The first two or three months I was in a pretty deep depression,” said Laurel Peterson, the owner of the apartment.
Laurel Peterson showed us this photo of her daughter in their second floor apartment before rushing to get out.
“We grabbed everything we could. We didn’t know where we were going to go, what exactly was going on,” Peterson said.
The condominium owners did their best to stick together by suing travelers insurance for non-payment of claims, but the judge ruled against them. The owners are contacting. Meanwhile, the city authorities are trying to force the apartment owners to pay for the demolition of the house.
“Of course, we’re all in financial trouble, so it’s almost impossible for us to come up with that kind of money on our own,” Peterson said.
There will be a hearing in January where a Wokesha County judge is expected to consider the demolition of the building.