Revere

Former Residents Still Without Answers After Fire Drove Them From Revere High-Rise

Displaced residents say they have not received any help from the Carabetta Company, which owns the building. They were told to move out a few days after the fire when the building was condemned by the city, declared "unfit for human habitation."

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More than 100 people were driven from their homes after last month’s fire at the Water's Edge apartments on Ocean Ave in Revere, Massachusetts, and weeks later they remain displaced, caught up in what's become a contentious legal battle between the city and the building owners.

Many of them met with Mayor Brian Arrigo and District Attorney Kevin Hayden and lawyers from legal aid Thursday morning.

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“It’s hot out here. It’s hot in there, too," the DA said outside.

“People are angry. It’s heartbreaking," Arrigo said.

Displaced residents say they have not received any help from the Carabetta Company, which owns the building. They were told to move out a few days after the fire when the building was condemned by the city, declared "unfit for human habitation."

City councilor Ira Novoselsky said, “It was all frustration. Frustration from everybody," following Thursday's meeting.

Yvgeniy Paplukhin was forced out.

"We basically we left and been living three weeks in a hotel at this moment," he said. "I heard stories that people living in the car so not a lot of people can afford hotels."

Last week a housing court judge denied the city’s motion to put the building into receivership, saying the two sides need to mediate a deal.

That decision is not sitting well with the mayor.

"It was appalling. We heard that this wasn’t an emergency. I think if the judge were to sit in that room today they’d understand that this is a real emergency.”

As for mediation, the city says Carabetta won’t talk to them and even moved people back into damaged apartments after the fire, before the building was condemned.

Councilor Novoselsky said they jerry-rigged electricity to some damaged apartments.  

"They had taken electric from another part of the building and ran extension cords into the burnt-out buildings for them to live there in those decrepit conditions.”

The management company issued a statement saying, in part, they had…

"…diligently pursued all efforts to repair this building, even without the full cooperation of various city officials, and will seek to do so, until all repairs have been made... We understand how challenging this has been for our residents and are committed to…get(ting) them back into the building as quickly as possible."

Novoselsky doesn’t buy it.

"I don’t believe anything they say and I don’t think you should either," he told reporters Thursday.

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