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‘We’re just stuck here’: Montrose seniors stranded for a week in facility with no elevator

Michelle Head, 72, hasn’t been able to leave her second-floor Montrose apartment since last Thursday — the day the senior living facility’s only functioning elevator stopped working. She’s had to cancel three doctors’ appointments during that time.

“We’re just stuck here, and it’s scary,” said Head, one of approximately 85 residents who are all 65 years old or older living in the Honolulu Manor Senior Apartments.

Glendale city officials issued a $222 citation to the owner of the property at 2500 Honolulu Ave., a company called Calitex, on Wednesday — six days after the elevator went down, city spokesman Dan Bell said.

It’s one of two elevators on the property. The other one has been out of service since October, Head said.

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Elias Shokrian, chief executive of Calitex, could not be reached for comment.

Normally, the owner would have 30 days to repair issues on the property before the city would take further action. In this case, city officials are trying to expedite compliance by referring the matter to the city attorney’s office, Bell said.

“We are continuing to stay on them to get it repaired as soon as possible,” Bell said.

Mary Sarra, who is with Calitex’s accounting department, said on Thursday that the company’s maintenance team was working on solving the problem.

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“They are waiting for some parts, and they said they’re going to make it to work today,” Sarra said.

By the end of the day on Thursday, the elevator had not been fixed, said the facility’s manager, Marie, who did not want to give her last name. Saturday has been set as the tentative repair date, she added.

“How are these people going to get in and out?” Marie said. “Some of them don’t even have families.”

According to the facility’s manager, a wheelchair-bound tenant left the building for an appointment last Thursday, prior to the second elevator breaking. When she returned, the elevator was out of order.

Trying to figure out what to do for several hours, the tenant eventually called the local fire department to have its employees lift her up the stairs, Marie said.

With the first floor of the building dedicated to commercial use, Head said she has to walk down a minimum of two sets of stairs to exit the building. Residents on the floor above Head must walk up and down four sets.

“I’m not confident navigating the stairs, but I’m going to try. I have to,” said Head, who typically uses a walker.

Residents who have cars parked in the subterranean garage have to contend with additional sets of stairs, said Head, who doesn’t have a car.

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According to Head, many residents have been accessing their cars by exiting the building on the ground level and walking around to a ramp that leads to the parking garage. Those who find the ramp too steep have moved their cars to the street, she added.

Sarra said Calitex had not yet received an invoice for the cost of the elevator repair, and company officials did not have a cost estimate.

According to the facility’s manager, those handling the maintenance pegged the cost of fixing one elevator at $7,000 to $8,000.

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