Residents won’t have to vacate downtown Dayton apartments

The boiler in the Newcom apartment building at 255 N. Main St. in downtown was shut down because it was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, city officials said. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

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The boiler in the Newcom apartment building at 255 N. Main St. in downtown was shut down because it was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, city officials said. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

A Montgomery County Common Pleas judge has granted a temporary restraining order that blocks the city of Dayton from forcing some tenants to move out of a downtown apartment building that has a malfunctioning heating system.

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Last week, city of Dayton housing inspection officials issued an emergency vacate order to residents at the Newcom Building, located at 255 N. Main St., citing “unsafe” living conditions.

The residents were ordered to move out by 4 p.m. today if the building’s owners had not repaired its heating system, which was shut off because it was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

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But about an hour before today’s deadline, Judge Richard Skelton granted the building’s owner, Howard Heck, a temporary restraining order on the condition he purchase small heating units for each apartment and get the boiler repaired or replaced in about a month.

Skeleton said he or court officials would stop by the Newcom building routinely to check on the temperatures inside the apartment building to make sure it is not too cold and check on the progress to repair the heating system.

“I am going to be watching this very closely,” he said.

This afternoon, Judge Skeleton presided over a hearing about the Newcom Building Company’s request for a restraining order and permanent injunction against the city of Dayton division of housing inspection.

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The seven-story apartment building’s boiler was shut down this month after fire crews determined it was releasing high levels of carbon monoxide, which can cause deadly poisoning.

But that left residents without a safe way to heat their homes, and city inspectors told the building owner to fix the boiler or they would board up the structure by this afternoon.

Seven tenants have left the apartment building after the emergency order was issued, leaving about 18 other occupied units, officials said.

Skelton said the owner has 30 days to fix the boiler, but could maybe get a “reasonable” extension if things are going OK and the temperature inside is satisfactory.

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