Patten Tower residents allowed to return home - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Patten Tower residents allowed to return home

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A Patten Tower resident getting off the bus to return home. A Patten Tower resident getting off the bus to return home.

After a month of waiting, Patten Tower residents were allowed to return home Friday afternoon.

Residents of the building have been displaced for weeks after an electrical fire forced the nearly 200 people out.

The news came after some confusion as residents arrived and were told the building had not passed inspection, but PK Management was issued a Conditional Certificate of Occupancy certificate by officials from the City of Chattanooga's Fire Prevention Bureau and Land Development Department Friday allowing residents to return. The information was met by cheers from Patten Tower residents.

City inspectors said PK Management made the changes needed to allow tenants to return including a comprehensive analysis of the entire electrical system and subsequent repairs, a comprehensive analysis of the building's structural system and any necessary repairs, and cooperation with the Fire Prevention Bureau to ensure that the building's condition is acceptable and safe for occupants.

The owners are required to fulfill additional requirements to ensure continued occupancy

Mayor Andy Berke was present at Patten Towers as residents returned and says he will be keeping a close eye on the building.

"I have been clear from the beginning. The needs and safety of these 241 residents are my number one concern," said Mayor Andy Berke. "Today we have a safer building, but PK Management must do a better job of caring for these residents. That means developing a long-term safety plan to cut down on disruptive fire and police calls, a strategy for safely moving residents back into Patten Towers, and more outreach with our community to meet the social needs of the residents they have chosen to serve."

He also asked PK management to develop a written strategy to address: social services coordination, fire safety and prevention, community relations, and residents returning to the building.

WRCB asked PK Management about the initial mixup with residents being told they were not allowed in but they refused to answer our questions.

WRCB has a reporter on the scene and will have more on this story on Eyewitness News at 5.

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