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Residents Still Haven't Collected Property After Huge Fire | News

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Residents Still Haven't Collected Property After Huge Fire

LAS VEGAS -- It has been more than four months since a fire forced dozens of families from their apartments. They were forced to leave when the fire broke out at the Rainwalk Apartments near Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn and have not been allowed to return to gather their belongings.

About 20 families gathered Wednesday morning, upset and looking for ways to get into their old apartment units near the ones that burned.

They say the property manager who was once willing to help now says it's out of his hands because their belongings have been exposed to asbestos.

"I want my belongings that they promised me. They had me write a detailed list of everything that was in my unit saying they were going to get it out. I want my things. I want justice for everyone else here. I want an injunction to stop this process, because they are telling us they are going to tear everything down after the 29th. We have no rights to any of our belongings," said resident Venita Simone.

Residents say they survived the massive fire back in December, but they cannot get on with their lives. 

Simone says she and others want to get into where they once lived to pick up their belongings.

The property manager first sent out a letter saying the tenants would be able to collect their stuff. Then last week, another letter went out saying the property owner's insurance would not be participating or paying for anyone's personal belongings affected by the fire that day because of asbestos, and the property needs to be removed by a licensed contractor.

"From what I heard, it's because of the asbestos poisoning and the air quality management district has done tests and it is dirty and so everything has to be cleaned and washed and retested for them to get it back," said property manager Eric Koenigsberg.

But this comes at a price: a $500 retainer fee, followed by $50 for each half hour of work the company does. If tenants cannot come up with the cash to pay the company, their belongings will be disposed of.

They are hoping to get an injunction to stop this because many of them cannot afford to pay. They're also trying to find other options to help get their belongings.