Mice, mold, bugs: Pines of Perinton fire sheds light on long-time issues at apartment complex
FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WHEC) — Some tenants at a local apartment complex have some major concerns. You might not believe what News10NBC saw inside some units of the Pines of Perinton in Fairport—not about the fire there last month—but issues some tenants say they’ve been dealing with for years.
Some tenants took News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey through their units. Our cameras saw mold, mouse poop, and some units that were missing smoke detectors. One woman showed us grass and roots that grow inside her unit during the summer. Some tenants say they’ve tried everything to get the property owners to fix these issues, and some say they’ve been trying for years.
"This is mouse poop near my daughter’s bed. These were from last night, because I do vacuum here regularly,” said one tenant who wanted to remain anonymous.
But that’s not all this tenant showed us. She has a missing smoke detector, had black mold, and pictures of grass that grows under her carpet, right in her living room during warmer months.
"Mice infestation, mold, dirty carpets, for the last four years, grass growing, insects walking inside and crawling my daughter even has a scratch and permanent scar from mice jumping on her face. I’ve followed all the rules, I’ve reached out to everyone in management, the property owner, and nothing’s working.” said the anonymous woman.
Another tenant, Carrie McCullough who’s lived in her unit for almost 40 years, showed us a few holes in her ceilings. She says maintenance patched up one hole in her kitchen, but it’s slowly reopening.
Duprey: "And how many times have you asked them to fix it?”
McCullough: “Many, and well they said, they already fixed it so they won’t redo it.”
New York State Senator Samra Brouk (D, 55) says her office has been working with tenants for months.
"One woman doesn’t have a working refrigerator, she stores her food outside. This is our ‘summer in February’ in Rochester right? Well, what does that woman do?” Brouk said.
The apartment complex is in Brouk’s district. She says the recent fire at the Pines shed more light on what she calls "Lack of basic necessities" for some tenants.
"We were already trying to work on some of these issues and out of nowhere comes the fire that no one was expecting, so what that does is it creates urgency,” Brouk said.
Timothy Seegler, with Tenants Association Group (TAG) says "things getting done" at the Pines of Perinton has been an issue for some time.
"I get disgusted by it, it makes me sad when I walk into some of these apartments and think they’ve lived like this for many years, and a lot of parents who have children,” Seegler said.
Tuesday, management at the Pines of Perinton issued the following statement:
News10NBC had reached out to the Town of Perinton to ask about the fund that had been set up after the fire to help displaced residents.
A communications manager responded Tuesday saying almost everyone is back in apartments, and the town will be meeting with residents and experts to get the Pines victim funds without damaging their benefits.
As for the overall conditions described Monday, the town said "our town inspectors are out often trying to get things up to code and making sure the complex is safe." It also showed News10NBC its list of documented unit issues, which included new water heaters, drywall repairs for water damage, a mice infestation and more.
Perinton Director of Building & Codes Greg Siegfred says he urges tenants in the Pines of Perinton who have issues that need to be fixed to contact the town directly.
"Obviously, first thing is to call the property manager file a complaint and start a work order but if that isn’t addressed in a reasonable amount of time issue or if it’s a safety issue or health issue and your needs are being met by the property manager absolutely contact you should absolutely contact the town," Siegfred said.
Town officials say the property was given until Thursday of this week to fix or have a plan to fix the currently documented issues.