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updated: 7/14/2014 6:47 PM

Glen Ellyn mom happy kids safe after ceiling collapse

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  • A tarp covers part of a Glen Ellyn apartment complex where water apparently caused portions of a ceiling to collapse.

       A tarp covers part of a Glen Ellyn apartment complex where water apparently caused portions of a ceiling to collapse.
    Safiya Merchant | Staff Photographer

 
By Safiya Merchant
smerchant@dailyherald.com

A Glen Ellyn mother says she's thankful her children weren't hurt early Sunday evening when part of her apartment's ceiling collapsed.

Makurai Sarki and her husband were preparing food in their kitchen when a portion of the ceiling fell in the sitting room.

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She has three children, but a neighbor who helped translate for Sarki on Monday said the youngsters weren't home at the time.

Birkha Rai, the neighbor who translated for Sarki, said the mom "feels happy" her children weren't there because they may have been injured by the falling ceiling.

Nothing was broken as a result of the collapse, Rai said, but the apartment did get dirty.

Neighbors have helped take care of the family since Sunday, but Rai said Sarki "feels sad ... moving one day in another place, another time another place."

Village police and firefighters responded about 5:30 p.m. to the building at 25 N. Main St. Residents from all 16 units were evacuated from the building, but most were allowed back in.

Glen Ellyn police said in a news release that work was being done on the building's roof before the incident. The contractor had placed a tarp over a part of the roof, but it did not completely protect it from recent rains.

Water soaked the drywall ceiling in the second-floor unit, leading to the ceiling's collapse, according to the news release.

"The drywall and the ceiling just can't hold that kind of weight, so it opens up," Deputy Chief Bill Holmer said. "It's about a 8-by-6-(foot), 8-by-4, something like that, opening where the drywall had come down from the ceiling."

"The roof of the building didn't cave in or anything like that," Holmer said.

He said he did not know the extent of the damage.

The residents in the unit below Sarki's also were not allowed back into their apartment for an unrelated reason, according to the news release.

"We were told that they were not allowed to go back into that unit and it had nothing to do with the water; it was from the debris from the balcony that was falling right in front of his door," Holmer said.

Property Manager Carmina Aluculesei said the downstairs unit was damaged when water came in Sunday. Once crews finish work to place bracings on the balcony above the unit the downstairs residents will go back in, she said.

That work was scheduled to be done Monday.

Aluculesei said she is still trying to figure out the next steps for Sarki's family.

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