Bridgeport seniors say apartment building’s broken elevator is a constant problem

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A broken elevator at a Bridgeport apartment building was repaired Friday, just hours after News 12 Connecticut reported the issue to the city. But many residents at the Sullivan Apartments on Wheeler Avenue say the problem is a chronic one.

The four-story building is home to dozens of seniors and residents with disabilities who say they are often prisoners in their own apartments. They say they are unable to go grocery shopping or get to medical appointments when the elevator is not operational.

After News 12 Connecticut reported the problem to the city, Bridgeport Health Department Director Maritza Bond called the property owner, who quickly got it repaired. Bond said she was grateful for the quick response, but that it shouldn't take a news report to get a broken elevator fixed.

"Unfortunately, we are continuously seeing this as a major issue in our city," Bond said.

A family said the issue played a direct role in the death of their brother, senior citizen Alfredo Delgado, who lived in the building. They said the Army veteran with disabilities died in September, after spending the last month of his life using the stairs with a walker due to an earlier broken elevator incident.

News 12 Connecticut interviewed Delgado when the same elevator broke back in August.

"A lot of people need a lot of help here. I'm not the only one," Delgado said.

City officials said by having the courage to speak out, Delgado left an important legacy. They hope his example will inspire others to demand elevators that are both safe and dependable.

A spokesman for the property owner said he recently spent more than $50,000 installing a new motor in the elevator. He apologized for the elevator failure and thanked News 12 for bringing it to his attention.

 

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