Koreatown

Koreatown Apartment Fire Sprinklers Go Off, Destroying Woman's Property

Harriette Dismond says she was decorating for Christmas on Dec. 10 when a fire sprinkler started expelling water in her Koreatown apartment.

NBC Universal, Inc.

This is one holiday season that Harriette Dismond will never forget. And not for any good reasons.

As she was decorating for Christmas on Dec. 10 in her Koreatown apartment, a fire sprinkler started expelling water.

"Black, dirty water gushed all over my living room, destroying everything in the living room," she said.

She called the property managers.

They told her: "We don't know how to turn it off."

And, she says, they didn't for 45 minutes.

When LA city firefighters finally turned the sprinkler off, they told her they didn't initially respond because it's not attached to their system.

Meanwhile, many of her possessions were destroyed - furniture, TV, computer.

"I told them, 'I don't have renter's insurance' and they told me, 'Well, that's too bad, because we're not gonna pay for anything.'"

She said her $1,200 a month unit is covered under the Section 8 voucher program for lower income residents.

She says they told her she was supposed to be given temporary housing, right away.

But she said they didn't give her that answer until Tuesday, after NBC4 started asking questions about her case.

She says the property managers told her they cannot put her in another apartment until the building's owner can be notified.

Meanwhile, she says the clean-up job they did in her unit was sub-standard. She said it's so bad that she's worried about mold exposure.

"The smell was so severe, I had to call someone to pick me up," she said.

But she's exhausted and tired of relying on generous friends to give her a place to sleep.

So she's moved back into her old unit with the soaked cushions and dirty floors while she waits for someone to help her out.

"This is the age of technology," she said. "How come you can't reach someone to put me in another apartment?"

The property manager and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have not responded to requests seeking comment.

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