City of Tallahassee Reviews Apartment Complex's Permits

Oct 22, 2012

It’s still unclear what caused an apartment building collapse  that injured 55 people early Sunday morning. The City of Tallahassee has completed its investigation of the Apartment Complex’s building permits.

“I just heard a lot of sirens and people screaming and crying and people trying to figure out what’s going on.”

That’s Seminole Grand resident Stephanie Mathis. She was in her bedroom a couple of buildings down from where a second floor apartment collapsed during a party. Authorities responded to the incident at around 1:30 Sunday morning. On Monday, the City of Tallahassee reviewed the apartment’s occupancy permit for the 17 year old building. Michelle Bono with the city said Seminole Grand had passed all of its inspections. She also said the building wasn’t designed to hold that many people.

“Load is built anticipating the average amount of weight you’d have for that square footage, for that type of living arrangement. So, it’s going to be different, City Hall is going to be different because we anticipate having that number of people there. In terms of where we go from here, it’s going to be up to the management and the owners of the complex to come out and do their analysis and find out what went wrong,” Bono said.

Seminole Grand residents like Tony Costellano wonders how incidents like these can be prevented from happening again.

“What is Seminole Grand doing to make sure that something like this isn’t happen again just because they exceed a hundred people in one party,” Costellano said.

The property owner was unable to be reached for comment by airtime. Officials said damage may exceed a quarter of a million dollars.