Ex-Tenant Speaks Out After Olive Street Apartment Is Condemned

Ex-Tenant Speaks Out After Olive Street Apartment Is Condemned

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Jason Cronk was a resident of an apartment building at 651 Olive Street in Watertown until the Monday before Thanksgiving, when it was condemned - leaving him and his family without a home.

"We're just worried about where we are going to go. And to this point right now, if I didn't have no wife and kid, I'd put myself in prison and go after this gentleman," said Cronk.

The four-unit apartment building is owned by Angel Eyes Properties, a limited liability company run by Larry Danza.  It was condemned after it was discovered that there was too much carbon monoxide in the building and at least one of the apartments was so filthy codes considered it uninhabitable. Cronk feels the latter claim is untrue.

"I find out that today there was another news report that we are all slobs in this building and it makes us feel like dirt and it's not our fault that this happened; it's the landlord's fault for not having this place up to code,"  said Cronk.

Cronk has been staying at hotels and with friends since he has been forced out of the apartment. He said that Danza is not letting him back in, or won't even rent him another room he has available on Craigslist, like one in Black River. 

"He called me back at the hotel and said, 'I can't let you guys back in. I don't have the money to pay you guys back or place you anywheres but I get on the internet and find three of his apartments open," said Cronk.

Meanwhile the city of Watertown's code enforcement supervisor said that there could have been deadly consequences if this building were not condemned.

"If there weren't carbon monoxide detection in there, people could have died that night, overnight," said Shawn McWayne, code enforcement supervisor.

McWayne said the building was condemned after the carbon monoxide alarm alerted the fire department.

"The heating units and the hot water heaters were not vented properly," said McWayne.

7 News reached out to Lawrence Danza, the building's owner. He largely declined to comment, saying he just got out of the VA hospital in Syracuse. But when asked, he did add that Cronk did not take good care of his apartment and it will cost him about $1,500 to clean it out.

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