The Grove residents suffer broken pipes and poisoning

By Ashley Elder – aelder@unca.edu – Staff Writer | March 4, 2015 |

Extremely low temperatures meant broken pipes, water damage, and an extended stay at the

Renaissance Hotel for students living at the Grove apartments in Asheville this week.

 

Tenants living in apartment 401 in building 900 returned home to find water leaking from the ceiling and running down the walls, after discovering their water pipes had burst.

 

Alex Crowell’s bedroom needs the most repairs, including an entirely new ceiling. Crowell, literature student at UNC Asheville, said she has lived at the Grove since last August.

 

Michelle Dorosiewicz, Crowell’s roommate, was out of town when the pipes burst.

 

“Alex texted me and said there was a leak in the apartment,” she said.

 

Dorosiewicz did not realize the severity of the situation until she returned to the Grove the following day.

 

“The humidity was an issue, everything was gross,” she said.

 

Dorosiewicz said there was no power when she got there and she talked to a Grove manager, who reassured her that repairs were under way but she never received a phone call from the Grove informing her of the situation inside her apartment.

 

Dorosiewicz and Crowell will be stayed at the Renaissance hotel along with 10 other Grove residents until the apartments are renovated.

 

Crowell does not have a car, so she either relies on friends to take her to class, or she has to call a cab, which is anything but cheap, she said.

 

Crowell was sitting on her bed doing homework when what had been a drip of water suddenly turned into “a waterfall coming from the ceiling, walls, cracks, everything,” she said. “It was nuts.”

At first she wondered if the ceiling was going to cave in, she said.

 

She said she grabbed her laptop and phone before any water could reach them.

 

“I called the fire department,” she said.

 

Crowell said if the fire department had not shut off the water so quickly, “The damage would have been far worse, I’m sure.”

 

As for the Grove, Crowell said she thinks “they handled the aftermath well.”

 

“They were trying to take care of people,” she said.

 

Crowell said she is totally put out by this whole thing.

 

“It’s such a mess,” she said.

 

Before this happened, Crowell said she was tempted to renew her lease for another year, but not now.

 

“I’m not going to live there again,” she said.

 

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Last Monday residents awoke to the Asheville Fire Department pounding on their doors and telling them to evacuate their apartments due to high levels of carbon monoxide.

 

The generators outside the building were to blame for emitting carbon monoxide. They were positioned

 

too close to the building, allowing carbon monoxide to accumulate inside as workers fixed the broken pipes and water damage, according to a statement issued by the Grove.

 

The Grove sent out an email to its residents Monday afternoon.

 

Priscilla Curvin, health and wellness student and Grove resident for more than two years, said this incident was the scariest she has experienced by far.
“This one hit home,” she said.

 

EMTs arrived on the scene shortly after the fire department to check on the residents of building 900.

 

Curvin said some students reported feeling nauseated and having headaches that morning.

 

“It was highly preventable,” she said.

 

Curvin wondered why the Grove did not already have carbon monoxide detectors in the apartments.

 

“We ended up purchasing one after the incident because of how scary it was,” she said.

 

The highest level reported by the AFD was 240 parts per million, much greater than the nine parts per million that is considered safe.

 

“There has been no apology from the Grove,” Curvin said.

 

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