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Residents Forced to Relocate After Front Street Building Deemed 'Uninhabitable'

Sparks, a smoking outlet and underlying wiring issues led Mokena officials to declare the building uninhabitable last week. Work to repair the issues is underway.

A building in the 10800 block of Front Street was deemed “uninhabitable” by the July 20, following a call to the July 19.

A resident called the department concerned after sparks flew from an outlet where an air conditioning unit was plugged in. The call led to the discovery of several issues within the building's wiring, building officials said.

“After going out there on Friday, to look at the overall picture, the electrical layout for the building, we had discovered quite a few hazardous electrical components that had been installed improperly,” said Matt Ziska, Mokena building and planning specialist. “It created hazardous living conditions for the inhabitants.”

The building's power was shut off and its seven residents were asked to relocate.

The building remains empty as a local contractor works to clear up the electrical issues.

“We made a list of things that needed to be fixed, mostly to the electrical service and how it was installed,” Ziska said.

Of the seven people in the building, five were able to find alternative housing thanks to renter's insurance, while the remaining two turned to the Red Cross for alternative homes while work is completed.

Ziska said that work on the home should be completed by the end of the week, at which time the building will be reinspected before residents are cleared for reentry.

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