EXCLUSIVE: Resident says pipe explosion at Johnston Mills Lofts - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

EXCLUSIVE: Resident says pipe explosion at Johnston Mills Lofts could have been prevented

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)

Tenants at Johnston Mill Lofts in Columbus are faced with a mess after trying to salvage what they can from a flood.

Tuesday night, a water main ruptured, flooding several of the apartments off First Avenue. The Red Cross reporting over a dozen families being displaced. However, an exact number has not been given by company management.

Some people are left with nothing following the flood.

“Water was in my bedroom, my kitchen, all throughout my living room, and it actually almost reached completely into my bathroom. All my wood furniture is ruined, my couch, my cabinets, everything," said William Buffin, who lives at the residence.

Buffin says his wife was home alone when she heard a loud "explosion-like" sound. A day later, the couple returning to a severely damaged house.

“All my wood furniture is ruined, my couch, my cabinets, everything," said Buffin.

Buffin, along with several other tenants salvaging whatever they can, in a situation he believes could have been avoided by company management.

“A lot of grief because of the fact- this could have been prevented. This is just due to negligence on their part," said Buffin.

The American Red Cross of West Central Georgia responding to the scene, even though they do not typically assist with man-made property damage.

Adelaide Kirk, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of West Georgia offering advice for anyone dealing with an unexpected home emergency.

“You should get renters assistance. Because the insurance for the structure does not cover your contents and possessions," said Kirk.

For Buffin and his family, luckily they did have insurance but says other people in the area are not so fortunate.

“I think the biggest thing we want is answers and hopefully some kind of restitution for the damages we received,” said Buffin.

We're told the owners have moved several of the tenants into hotel rooms while the damage is being assessed.

News Leader 9 did reach out directly to property management but was referred to corporate offices in Virginia Beach, VA.

No official comment has been released. The Red Cross recommends resources like United Way to help those in need following a disaster.

You can also call 211.

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