Residents forced out of motel over code violations

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Dozens of people in Little Rock were left scrambling to find a place to stay Wednesday after the city shut down the motel where they lived.

On July 31st, city inspectors found a myriad of code violations at the Acme Motel on Roosevelt Road in Little Rock. Late Wednesday afternoon they served each resident with a letter informing them they have until Friday at 5 p.m. to vacate the premises.

"I am so mad, I don't even know where we're going to go. I don't know if we're going to stay outside or I don't know what we're going to do or nothing," said Priscilla Pye who has lived at the Acme Motel for months. "When we found the bed bugs in the bed we started sleeping on the floor, even though we were still paying we got on the floor. Then there were bed bugs on the floor, there's a million roaches."

"Raw sewage, electrical problems, mechanical problems, non-working smoke alarms, some of the rooms didn't even have smoke alarms in them, sagging roofline, just a lot of life-safety issues that we felt was very important and we couldn't allow people to continue to live there," said Little Rock Fire Chief Gregory Summers. "Not only is it unsafe for the citizens, it's also unsafe for our firefighters as well because when we respond to facilities like this or environments like this we've got to have a safe environment to work within."

"I'm gonna lose $640, a whole month's rent, for this dump," said 89-year-old Johnny Trotter who has lived at the Acme for 7 years and added he didn't know where he would go. "Ain't no way in the world I can get any place to stay that quick."

The building's owner, David Patel, wouldn't answer THV 11's questions but even he lives on the premises and has to find somewhere else to go as well.

According to Fire chief Summers, the gas at the Acme Motel was shut off Wednesday, by Friday the electricity and water will be shut off as well. Summers also said the city would have facilitators from its alert centers at the motel Thursday morning to try to help residents find a place to go.


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