Update on efforts to recover belongings of Birmingham Trades Towers residents

Update on efforts to recover belongings of Birmingham Trades Towers residents

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It's been months since a fire forced retirees out of their apartments in Birmingham.

The tenants were forced out of their apartments after a fire in October.

88-year-old Alice Franks is a former tenant of Birmingham Building Trades Towers and is one of 60 people who are part of a civil lawsuit against the owner of the building.

The lawsuit claims that the owner won't allow the tenants to get their belongings left behind inside the building. The lawsuit also claims some of the tenants suffered injuries and mental anguish.

"A firemen led me out. My legs were collapsing under me and I couldn't breathe. I've tried unsuccessfully many times to go back, but they won't even let me on the parking lot," said Franks.

She's now living an apartment with her daughter but she can't fully move on with her life because a lot of it remains locked up inside the building. Franks says some of her items are valuable and sentimental.

Frank Buck is the attorney for the former tenants and he says the way they are being treated by the owner of the building is inhumane. The lawsuit was filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court in January.

Frank says he's trying to get immediate relief for the former tenants so they can get their belongings.

"I think it's a travesty. There's absolutely no excuse for the conduct of the management of the Trades Towers and the way they've treated these nice people  who paid rent and have literally been thrown out," Buck said.

The lawsuit also claims that the plaintiffs have the right to possession of their apartment unit and is asking the court to allow the plaintiffs to retrieve their belongings.

The defendants named in the lawsuit include Arbour Valley Management and Mr. Emmanuel Ku. Clark, Hair and Smith is the law firm representing them. WBRC called the office to get their response to the lawsuit but our phone call was not returned.

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