Lawyer describes first look inside burned Buildings Trades Towers in Birmingham
February 26 marks four months since a fire turned the lives of 150 people upside-down. People who lived at the Building Trades Towers are still waiting to get their personal belongings. ABC 33/40 talked with a laywer who got inside.
Firefighters determined the fire started a unit on the second floor. We've shown you, for months, how this building looks on the outside. We can now show you the inside the building using pictures from a lawyer ordered inside by a judge.
A burned apartment, untouched scooter, personal belongings and medicine. All left behind in what Frank Buck considers a war zone.
"You'd have to see it to believe it. In the fact that all of the apartments still had their belongings in them," said Buck.
Buck, a lawyer for 85 of the people who lived at Building Trades Towers, showed ABC 33/40 pictures of what he saw inside the building Wednesday.
His visit inside was the first for anyone, other than the owner, since it burned October 26, 2015.
"We don't have any of our stuff. We had to start over. We hadn't been able to retreive any of our things," said Renter Lerin Norwood.
Norwood lived in the building with her mother. Both have struggled since the fire was put out to get their stuff.
"You take so many things for granted every day. Toothbrush, toothpaste, pillows and blankets. We literally escaped with what we had on our backs," added Norwood.
Buck hopes the owner won't escape without doing what's right for the renters.
"We don't understand why the owner has not bothered to come down. We don't understand why the owner has not taken any measurements to accommodate these 150 tenants there," added Buck.
"Basically, we've been told sue me if you want your own belongings out of this building. I don't understand why we can't go in there and get our own stuff," added Norwood.
A court order allowed Buck to go inside the building. He's planning to file another motion to request a judge set a deadline for all of the people who lived at Building Trades Towers to get their belongings.
"They've shown no compassion or consideration," Buck said in an interview with ABC 33/40 on Feb. 16.