Local News in Brief : Owner of Apartments Faces Safety Charges

The owner of a Burbank apartment building, whose residents were forced to evacuate last week because of hazardous conditions, will be arraigned next month on charges of violating building and fire-safety codes, officials said Monday.

Walter Jenkins, 40, of Agoura Hills was charged Monday in Burbank Municipal Court with 15 misdemeanor counts, said Deputy City Atty. Mary F. Riley. Jenkins was ordered to appear in court April 3 to answer the charges.

Riley said that live electrical wires were discovered dangling from the ceilings of some of the building’s units and that extension cords were being used for permanent electrical wiring. She added that inspectors discovered fire exits blocked with furniture.

Jenkins had refused to repair dangerous conditions at the two-story building at 223 E. Santa Anita Ave. for at least 1 1/2 years, she said.

Eight families who were living in the building were evacuated by city officials and moved to a nearby motel Wednesday. Riley said Jenkins has promised to make extensive repairs to the building but that the residents will stay at the motel until further notice.