The city of Chippewa Falls has filed a lawsuit against the owner of several apartment complexes in the city for fire inspection violations.
Corrina K. Cigan of Eau Claire is the defendant. She owns apartment buildings at 918 First Ave. and 820 Macomber St.
According to the court document, the city’s fire inspector went through both apartment buildings on April 30, May 16 and June 6.
“The fire inspector reports were provided to Corrina K. Cigan at her tax roll address as required by the state fire coordinator,” the civil lawsuit states. “None of the violations have been corrected and the time to do so has expired.”
The city code “declares as a public nuisance a condition of use of property which substantially endangers the comfort, health, repose or safety of the public or in any way renders the public insecure in life or in use of the property in that Corrina K. Cigan refuses to correct the fire hazards set forth in (the inspection report),” the lawsuit states.
City code also allows the city to take “action to abate a public nuisance,” which includes judgment for damages and any costs, including forfeitures of up to $500 plus court costs for each violation.
The city is requesting that the buildings be declared as public nuisances and the maximum fines be assessed.
“There were a lot of concerns,” Mayor Greg Hoffman said. “We’ve had numerous letters we’ve sent to her. She’s always been good about getting trash cleaned up. For whatever reason, she didn’t respond on this one whatsoever.”
The fire inspection report shows that the First Avenue complex had empty fire extinguishers, one out of date, and another one was blocked. An alarm in the basement, which must be serviced annually, hadn’t been done since 2015. A basement egress window was obstructed, and roof access was blocked by a bike chained to the ladder.
At the Macomber Street building, all the fire extinguishers were out of date, having last been serviced in 2017. An exit light was out and wires were exposed in multiple places.
“We’re not going to tolerate this like in the past,” Hoffman said.
Cigan has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit.