Tenants of Madera apartment complex forced to leave after crash causes power outage

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Several tenants at a Madera apartment complex said they are being forced to leave because someone ran into the apartment building knocking out their power.

"We've been turned upside down these last couple days. We haven't had any heat since Sunday," said Courtney Ferretti, who has lived at the apartments for 11 years.

The apartment is located off of South I street in Madera.

Alexiz Ramirez, who recently moved in, explained they've been using ice to keep their food cold and candles to light up the rooms, as well as extra blankets to stay warm following the crash.

Tenants said management gave the tenants 30 days to move.

"I didn't do anything to cause this. So for me to be put out because of someone else's actions it's just beyond belief to me. I'm not understand how they can do this," Ferretti said.

Tenants said they've have reached out over and over again to management to see what is going on but claim they haven't had many answers.

"It's upsetting because how do they expect us to find when waiting lists for other locations is 6 months. They should at least be having us in hotels for now," Ramirez said.

Madera Management Company tells me they've reached out to the insurance company about helping these families find a place to stay but haven't heard back.

The company said they are not exactly sure when the power will be restored. It could be months because they need to fix the structural damage as well. They added it's a pretty complicated situation and feel terrible about it.

"I have a Section 8 voucher and they aren't helping. They said if power is not restored they are going to stop payment," Ferretti explained.

Madera Police Chief Dino Lawson said he is working with the Housing Authority and other agencies to get these families help.

If the Housing Authority cannot get these families into home the plan is to get them into hotels in the meantime.

"We have human beings here and we are not going to wait for the property management company or anyone else to do it. I have citizens that need help and it's by duty to help them and that's way we are going to do," said Lawson.

As for the person who hit the wall, well it's unclear if it was a tenant or the tenant's guest but they packed up all their belongings, left the apartment and left their neighbors with a mess.

"He's a coward. Why would he do that and just leave the scene to have all his other neighbors deal with this situation," Ramirez said.

Management says they've offered a few of the tenants a place to stay. Some have declined while others have accepted.

Chief Lawson says there are at least 9 families in need of help.
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