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KABC Eyewitness News
January 16, 1999 6:11pm

Anniversary of the Northridge, California Earth Quake/


Anchor Ana Garcia:

"If you lived through it, you will never forget it. Tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake."

Anchor Philip Palmer:

"The ordeal continues for residents of a Northridge condo complex  still trying to recover from serious quake damage. Eyewitness News reporter Tracy Martinez has their story."

Reporter Tracy Martinez:

"The 1994 Northridge  Earthquake leveled homes, ripped apart freeways, and stole lives. It's taken years to rebuild what it took just seconds to destroy. It was a tragedy that many would like to forget but almost five years after the quake, some are still living with the constant reminder. Less then five miles from the quake's epicenter, residents of the Devonshire Village Condominiums are at the mercy of the elements.

Sid Mermelstein - Homeowners Assoc.:

"We are in constant fear of rain. the buildings have lost their complete watertight integrity and the rain comes in through the siding."

Reporter Tracy Martinez:

"More the four claims adjusters later with estimated damage close to ten million dollars, buildings are still cracked, support beams are broken and in almost every one of the one hundred and twenty seven townhouses, leaks and water marks create what these residents call serious health risks."

George Beers - Contractor:

"The tests that we performed and the insurance company has preformed has shown the carpet to be contaminated with asbestos, has shown their furniture to be contaminated with asbestos, and almost every surface."

Reporter Tracy Martinez:

"At one point, Farmers Insurance offered to settle with the residents for one million dollars. The company could not be reached for comment but residents call their offer a Band-Aid."

Marie Paul - Resident:

"I'm sick of them. Even I was taking to a friend from Arkansas today and I said " You know, I can't do a darn thing." I need painting. I need this. I can't do anything."

Reporter Tracy Martinez:

"However, still facing an appraisal hearing next month, residents here may be forced to dig and may live with this for three more years in order to have their day in court. In Northridge, I'm Tracy Martinez, ABC7 Eyewitness News."


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