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“Living in Hell”: Tenant speaks out about condemned West York apartment building

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West York Police condemned an apartment building they say was covered from top to bottom in black mold and thousands of cockroaches.

Five people are charged with endangering the welfare of their children because of the deplorable conditions.

Doris McCalpin is the tenant who called for help, calling the property manager repeatedly. She says living in the building was like living in Hell.

"I lived in Hell," McCalpin says. "It was horrible conditions."

McCalpin lived on the first floor and says she kept her apartment neat. But whenever she cooked, cockroaches would come out of the walls.

"As soon as I start cooking, all the roaches want to come and eat all my food," she says. "Sometimes I had to come in the car and eat in the car."

She says an upstairs toilet broke and leaked dirty water into her bathroom. The property manager sent someone who only painted over it.

She finally got a number for the West York Fire Department, and reached code enforcement officers. They called police on Monday when they saw how bad the conditions were.

Police say two families were living with kids in deplorable conditions. Five people are charged with endangering their children; seven children were removed from the building by Children, Youth and Families.

Police say in one of those apartments, they found children laying on dirty mattresses covered in dead bead bugs and surrounded by insecticide powder. The floor was covered in bug carcasses, food debris and human waste. The children had dirt and dead roaches caked on their feet and a five-month-old baby needed critical medical attention.

Police say in another apartment, a loaded handgun was found near where children slept on a mattress. Roaches crawled over the stove top and containers of sour milk sat out.

The property owner was cited with code violations. Police say they are continuing to investigate and may bring criminal charges against the owner or property manager. The manager, at Target Investments, did not return our request for comment.

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