Residents of an Atlantic City condominium complex are concerned about potential safety hazards as a neighboring building undergoes demolition.
But the city's fire chief said the work is being done by professionals and the condo residents will not be affected.
Demolition began Monday morning on a former apartment complex next to the Roosevelt Beach Condominiums complex on the 3800 block of Boardwalk. Joel Kaplan, president of the Roosevelt condo association, said residents of the Roosevelt are not certain enough has been done to ensure their safety.
"As an association, we have done whatever we could to protect our residents," he said. "Our pool has been closed for approximately two weeks (since plans for demolition began), and we have urged residents to leave."
The association's Washington Township, Gloucester County-based attorney, Tal Karmer, said he reached out to the city July 19 but did not receive an answer. He said the residents are most concerned about asbestos in the building.
Kramer said they were told by crews doing the work that the building is structurally unsafe and any asbestos cannot be removed before the demolition. Instead, the workers said they will constantly spray the materials with water during the project to control the asbestos.
"We are not experts, but we would like a little more response from the city to ensure the plan to protect the condo association covered all bases," he said.
The city is conducting the demolition of the property, which has been vacant for several years. The association is concerned about asbestos being carried to their building by wind, and that scaffolding erected Friday may not properly protect the building.
Kaplan said the demolition company offered to put any concerned resident in a hotel for a few days, and that one resident opted for the precaution.
Kaplan said the scaffolding does not protect an open area where debris could fall.
A message left with LVI Demolition Services in East Hanover, Morris County, which is handling the demolition, was not returned.
Fire Chief Dennis Brooks said the work is expected to be complete by the end of the week. There have been several meetings through multiple city agencies, including Emergency Management, Code Enforcement and police and fire departments, on the project, he said.
"These are professionals that come in and do this for a living," he said. "Every safety precaution that can be taken has been taken."
Staff Writers Anjalee Khemlani and Lynda Cohen contributed to this report.
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