DU QUOIN, IL (KFVS) - City officials in Du Quoin, Ill. took action after locals were found to be living in unsafe conditions.
Mayor of Du Quoin, Guy Alongi, said the rooms of the Midwest Inn Motel were condemned and three people had to relocate.
Du Quoin Fire and Police Departments and its Property Maintenance Officer inspected the motel after a complaint was sent to the mayor.
Shortly after, a court order was issued from the local judge closing the motel due to "various life safety code violations."
The initial complaint was through Facebook to the mayor by a person staying at the motel. "The occupant of the Midwest Inn had no heat in the building," according to the press release. They were given space heaters instead. Du Quoin Fire Chief, Bob Shaw, says the space heaters were inches away from flammable material.
"It was pretty bad. I mean we knew all along it was pretty bad, but people have the right to kind of live the way they want to, unless it's deemed (un)inhabitable. And when we were there the last time because of the problem with the sewage, and sewage was being dumped (raw sewage) in the basement, well that's obvious," said Shaw.
According to officials, there were unsanitary conditions like bed bugs and roaches, lack of hot running water, and no fire alarms.
Even the property maintenance officer, Ron Darnell, says the motel rooms were deteriorating badly.
Shaw says what started as a "welfare check" ended with people being forced to leave for their own good.
According to Shaw, the owner of the motel offered an alternative place for them to stay at one of his other properties - however, the former occupants denied and chose their own option in Du Quoin. .
The city attorney requested a temporary restraining order to close the motel and keep people from staying there. In addition, a hearing is scheduled on Wednesday, February 15 to order the owner from operating the business until further notice.
"The conditions were just not fit for people to live there, so we took matter in our own hands," said Mayor Alongi.
There will be a Council Meeting Monday where the condemnation will get council approval.