GOOSE CREEK — It was a terrifying night that no one at the Green Lakes Condominiums will soon forget.
Fire ripped through two condos, forcing five occupants, including a 19-year-old pregnant woman and two deaf children, to jump to safety from a second-floor balcony. The fire destroyed two units and severely damaged two others.
That was Nov. 15, 2007. Fifteen months later, the condominiums still are uninhabitable. The outside landscaping still is torn up, leaving a blight on the 170-unit complex and keeping two families from returning to their homes.
That's unacceptable, Scott Mclean told Watchdog.
"The whole area looks like a housing project," said Mclean, a resident who is acting as a liaison between the residents and the families who lost their homes. "It should have been finished four to five months ago. The people who live in that cul-de-sac are tired of looking at this, and I don't blame them."
An official with Catastrophe Services Inc., the company hired in January 2008 to renovate the apartments, acknowledged Wednesday that there have been lengthy delays but said the company is doing everything it can to rectify the problem and keep residents in the loop.
Scott McCutcheon, account manager with CSI, said the plan is to have a certificate of occupancy by the end of the month or the beginning of March, at the latest.
"I'll be the first to say that there have been delays on the job, and we have done everything we can to get people to stay on the project and get it completed," McCutcheon said.
He said some engineering and architectural issues slowed down the project about six to eight weeks. More delays were caused when subcontractors, some the company has hired before, either failed to show up or refused to fix problems with their work, McCutcheon said.
"It's been a challenge getting everything done out there, but we're doing the best we can," he said.