- Story Ideas
- Send Corrections
DOUGLASS (Berks) — A township woman’s Douglass Drive home was condemned Wednesday, less than 24 hours after she was rescued by emergency responders from the home’s basement where she was trapped for three days when the staircase collapsed.
“The house in uninhabitable,” Douglass (Berks) Police Chief David Franke confirmed Wednesday afternoon. “There’s some code violations that have to be repaired before we’ll allow habitation.”
The resident who was rescued from the basement of 857 Douglass Drive by local firefighters was identified by sources Wednesday as Rosalyn Willis. Willis was transported to Reading Hospital and Medical Center by Southern Berks Ambulance Tuesday night.
A hospital spokesperson said Willis was in stable condition Wednesday evening.
At the scene, emergency officials confirmed Willis had fallen through a staircase that collapsed under her and landed in the basement of the residence which had several feet of standing water in it. The water was likely loaded with bacteria.
Franke confirmed Wednesday that when he inspected the property Wednesday, he discovered the presence of mold in the residence “as a result of the water.”
Tuesday night, several people at the scene indicated Willis may not have been the property owner or that she may have been prohibited from being in the residence. However, Franke clarified that Willis owns the residence and up until the rescue Tuesday, “there’s nothing that would have precluded her” from being in the residence.
Franke explained that Willis’ friend found her trapped in the basement and called 911 Tuesday night.
Willis’ friend hadn’t been able to reach her and went to the house to check on her. Once there, Willis’ friend could hear her “screaming for help,” Franke said.
Franke emphasized the importance of people checking on their friends and neighbors and looking into circumstances that don’t seem right.
“If this was a week earlier, in that hot weather, this lady wouldn’t have been so lucky,” Franke said, noting how the body is particularly at risk in high-temperatures.
Franke said Willis will have to make repairs on the residence and have it inspected before she will be allowed to live there.