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Newport News woman’s home condemned after frozen pipes burst

Posted at 3:58 PM, Feb 23, 2015

Newport News, Va. –  A Newport News woman's home has been condemned after frozen pipes forced her out of the home, and then she returned to find that her ceiling was caving in.

Tiffany (who didn't want to reveal her last name), contacted NewsChannel 3 last week after she was fed up living with frozen pipes all week during one of the coldest winters on record.

"I'm not getting results and hopefully now since I put it out there how bad my situation is, somebody is going to do something,” Tiffany said.

Instead of resting after a recent surgery, she spent last week dealing with the frozen pipes.

"I'm just tired. I should be recovering from surgery, resting. Instead, I'm being stressed out and getting the runaround from these people,” Tiffany says.

She says it started last Sunday when her pipes froze. On Monday, her landlord's maintenance man put a space heater under her home leaving it on all night.

"Tuesday morning, the space heater was still under the house, but the pipes still were not thawed,” Tiffany says.

Maintenance came out later that day and thawed the pipes, but Tiffany says that's when sewage started backing up through her washing machine drainage.

Tiffany would have to wait until Thursday for maintenance to fix the sewage issue, only to have her pipes freeze yet again.

Tiffany says she's only lived in the building since September and says she's had multiple issues with maintenance. She kept contacting the landlord to have maintenance come out to the property, but the issue was not getting fixed.

The building's owner and his son came out to the property on Friday to look into the incident, but Tiffany says the problem still wasn't resolved.

On Friday evening, Tiffany sent NewsChannel 3 an email about the situation.

“David Taylor and his son has packed up and left without resolving the issue. He stated, 'I tried everything and it’s nothing else I can do. I can try again tomorrow.'"

When Tiffany returned to her home on Saturday afternoon to check if the frozen pipes had been fixed, she found that her ceiling was collapsing and water was flooding the home.

"It was about an inch already on the floor in the kitchen. Both light fixtures in the ceiling were full of water and water was running out of those," she says.

The fire department told Tiffany that the pipes in the room above hers had burst, spilling gallons of water into her home. The city was forced to condemn the property and now Tiffany is without a home.

"My ceiling has collapsed. I'm without a place to stay, the owner going to tell me don't contact her no more. The Realtor company hasn't contacted me and you think that's okay? How many more of your tenants are you treating like this?" she says.

NewsChannel 3 reached out to Tiffany's landlord on Monday, and they said to contact the company managing the home -- Carrolton Properties.

The president of Carrolton Properties said they responded to all of Tiffany's complaints but the maintenance crews are contracted through the property owner, not the company themselves.

Either way, Tiffany says she's seeking legal action.

"I have contacted attorneys. I'm waiting for a call back, but I'm very upset," she says.

Tiffany says she doesn't know where she'll live now and is looking for help. The realty company says they're letting Tiffany out of her lease and giving her back her security deposit.

But where she ends up living is still unknown.

We'll continue to update this story as we learn more.