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The Board of Health condemned a three-family home at 472 Groton Road on Jan. 17 after receiving letters from the renters that the house has had no running water since Dec. 3 and two of the units have had no heat since the frigid days of early January when temperatures dipped below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
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Landlord Charles Didonato told the board the pipes had burst in the cold weather. Two plumbers were unable to run new pipes, he said, because the scope of the work was beyond their capabilities. He had supplied the tenants with portable space heaters.
But Health Department staff members Rae Dick and Seth Lajoie said there were numerous health code violations inside the house, including the lack of a second egress for the third floor apartment, and missing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Didonato, who lives at 476 Groton Road, is required to pay for hotel stays for the tenants. Included among the residents is a 12-year-old and a 5-year-old.
“You need to supply people with heat and hot water,” said Lajoie, who is the town’s environmental services manager. “These are all major code violations.”
Board of Health member Joanne Belanger chastised Didonato, who claimed the tenants didn’t want to leave their homes even while living without running water.
“They don’t get to stay until it’s in a condition that a human being can live in it,” she said. “That’s deplorable. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
UPDATE – CORRECTION – The date of the condemnation was Jan. 17.