Stairs collapse at issue-ridden Fort Myers apartment complex

A stairwell collapse in one Fort Myers apartment building has tenants wondering if the rest of the complex is safe.

Nursing student Kai Lewis says he was studying in his apartment at Sunrise Towers when he heard a loud crash.

“It sounded like somebody had dropped a piece of furniture, and when I came out, all I saw was an empty stairwell. The stairway was totally gone, it fell,” Lewis said.

He says that the stairs leading to the fourth floor collapsed into a pile of rubble.

“This is bad. Something should be done about this. Is very unsafe for residents to be in,” Lewis said. “I don’t know what caused it to collapse, but if anyone was walking on there or using that at the time, that would probably be a fatality.”

The apartment complex itself has 13 open cases with code enforcement. And neighbors have reported issues like roaches, leaking ceilings, broken elevators, rats and mold.

“Would I want to live here? Is it safe to live here? If children live here, is it safe to live here?” Lewis said.

And it might be the last straw for some residents.

“If you have to pay $825 to live somewhere like this and you have collapsing pieces of the building like parts of the building are falling apart…that would make you feel really unsafe and something needs to be done,” Lewis said.

Officials note that there were no previous code violations having to do with the stairwells, and they are still working to determine what could have caused the collapse.

WINK News reached out to Sunrise Towers’ management, but have not yet heard back.

Reporter:Kelsey Kushner
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