Residents displaced by Prospect Heights fire protest actions of Condo Association

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Thursday, August 9, 2018
Prospect Heights fire victims protest behavior of Condo Association members
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Residents displaced by a condo fire in Prospect Heights said Thursday that they have been mistreated by members of the River Trails Condo Association Board.

PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) -- Former residents of a Prospect Heights condo complex that was destroyed by fire in July staged a protest against the building's management Thursday.

Displaced residents said they are unhappy with the way they have been treated by three members of the River Trails Condo Association Board.

"I feel like they have no sympathy because they're not affected," said fire victim Monica Alvarez. "To us, this is our entire life, our hard work, our memories."

Alvarez said she rushed to River Trails Thursday because a letter sent by the condo association Wednesday said displaced residents could have access to their burnt-out units on August 9, only to find out the letter had the wrong dates.

The letter also stated that residents could only enter the building if they wore hazmat suits, but gave no information on where to obtain one.

"All the stuff, the respirators, hazmat suits, we are trying to get somebody to donate, we still haven't gotten a response," said Santiago Perez of the River Trails Condo Association.

A group of displaced residents said they are concerned about extra items that had been donated to fire victims that are currently stored in a nearby, shuttered grocery store.

Those items will likely be donated to Goodwill or Salvation Army soon.

"There still are a lot of donated items people could use now that more are in a stable place that's where the donations can come," said condo owner Francisco Ruiz.

Perez said every fire victim was given an ID card from the City of Prospect Heights to access the donations.

"They can take the ID to whatever, they go to Goodwill, Salvation Army, they can take whatever donations at no cost instead of having them here," Perez said.