The Investigators: Potentially dangerous violations found at other Latter & Blum properties

The Investigators: Potentially dangerous violations found at other Latter & Blum properties

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Kristiana Tillman, 1, died at the D'Iberville Townhomes in Addis on June 22 after the West Baton Rouge Coroner's office said she touched exposed live, high voltage wires on an air conditioning unit. That property is managed by Latter & Blum.

Across the river, off of North Lobdell Blvd., Latter & Blum also manages the Copper Ridge Apartments.

After the little girl's death, a maintenance man who worked for one of the Latter & Blum properties said that the company took immediate action.

"Latter & Blum called managers and told them to make sure to go around the property putting covers on everything, make sure it wasn't their fault, make sure there were no wires hanging out anywhere and that's what the manager told us and that's what we did," said the maintenance man, or "Bob" as we call him to protect his identity.

Bob said A/C units where he worked had been uncovered for a long while prior to the incident in Addis.

"I mean it's been like that for years. It's just the way it is," said Bob.

Walking around Copper Ridge, wires were found coming out from a unit, just like in Addis. Some covers were on the A/C units. However, many do not have screws in place and a few covers were barely hanging on with wires visible.

Kelsey London, who is now moving out from Copper Ridge with her 1-year-old son, said the cover outside her unit is very recent because she said she took a picture when it was uncovered.

"It wasn't covered. They must have covered it up after we left," said London.

They left for the hospital for two weeks because her son Makye London was admitted. London said doctors told her something bit him, a spider or fleas, and if she would not have brought him in when she did, he could have died from the fluid build up.

It's why she said she asked the Copper Ridge management "to come and clean the carpet, and I actually asked them to replace the carpet and nothing got done."

Kiran: They told you they sprayed while you were gone?
London: Yes ma'am. 
Kiran: When you came back, does it look like it's been cleaned?
London: No ma'am. 

That's because according to Bob, it never was.

Bob: Never, never went to that unit. 
Kiran: When management tells her that the carpet has been cleaned and your apartment has been sprayed for pests, they're lying? 
Bob: It wasn't the truth.

London has lived at Copper Ridge for the past 3 and a half months.

Kiran: How has your experience been? 
London: Horrible. 
Kiran: Why? 
London: Because they're not coming in. They're not trying to fix nothing. They just want their rent money. 

She said fix things like problems in and around her apartment.

"I had to take the filter out because it was full of mold," said London.

London added she can pull the carpet in her complex all the way back.

"I mean you can just walk with it, you can walk with the carpet, just ridiculous. It comes all the way up," said London.

On her electric water heater in the closet, London said management put a plastic bowl on top to catch the dripping water. When it's full, London said she empties it out and puts it back. There are live wires in the same closet.

After watching 9News' stories on the electrocution death at the D'iberville Townhomes, London said she put realized that Latter & Blum manages both properties.

"That could have been my child that went in a closet and touched a live wire and the same thing could have happened to him," said London.

"I couldn't believe it happened and when I found out it was a Latter & Blum property, I was like, 'Woah, that's not good'," said Bob.

Which is why he said he and others took it upon themselves to start covering any uncovered units before he said Latter & Blum told each property's management to do so.

"We don't want anyone over here to get hurt. We don't want for what happened over there to happen over here," said Bob.

The 9News Investigators also visited other Latter & Blum properties. They found Latter & Blum's more recent apartments like Woodcrest, Camden Lake and Mallard Crossing had their A/C units and electrical boxes intact.

Melba Williams at Mallard Crossing said she's pleased with her property management.

"I feel safe here. They do everything they can," said Williams.

But the 9News Investigators did find more potential problems at other Latter & Blum properties.

At Magnolia Trace off Sherwood Forest, they found covers without screws and a conduit that does not cover all the wires.

At Siegen Oaks, there were many of the same issues with pipes not covering all the wires and some wires capped off.

At Place Du Plantier on Lee Drive, their air conditioning units are on the roof, but did not have covers over the units with live, high voltage wires exposed, much like in Addis.

Meanwhile, London said she's trying to sue Copper Ridge and Latter & Blum for her son's hospitalization, which is why Bob said many of her complaints fell on deaf ears.

"Management intentionally did not fill her work order. She deliberately told one of the maintenance guys don't do her work order because she's suing Latter & Blum and the property," said Bob.

London said she will never stay at another Latter & Blum property. Bob agreed and said, "It's just not safe."

The 9News Investigators once again requested an on-camera interview from Latter & Blum. They declined and issued a statement:

"Immediately following the tragic accident at D'Iberville Townhomes, Latter & Blum Property Management began investigating the incident. We are not able to comment further as this is a subject of litigation."

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.