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‘Should not have to buy back our items’: Residents of Boulder condos that burned still without belongings

By Michael Abeyta

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    BOULDER, Colorado (KCNC) — It’s been more than three months since a fire devastated a condominium community in Boulder. Some residents say they haven’t been let in to access their units which they say is making it hard for them to move on.

Elif Kuzu admits she didn’t know her neighbors at the Whittier Place Condominiums well before a fire destroyed the complex in October 2021.

“The one thing that this whole thing taught us is to connect more with your neighbors,” she said.

Elif says they have bonded now over not being able to retrieve things that survived the blaze. She says she would love to go in and get her stuff but the homeowners association won’t let her, saying that it is too dangerous. Elif says it has turned her life upside down.

“There’s a lot of precious items in a lot of tenants’ homes including ours. I mean our son passed away and there are baby pictures of him inside of there,” she said.

She says they told her only a third-party restoration company can retrieve items and that will cost money. Elif calculated it will cost her more than three thousand dollars to get everything.

“We should not have to pay… essentially buy back our items,” she said.

On top of that, she said thieves are breaking in and burglarizing the units. She found out hers had been burglarized with a call from her brother.

“He said someone charged almost $400 onto your credit card,” Elif said.

She says she can also see from the street a bike is missing from her patio. She reached out to the HOA and they responded that they think that isn’t the case.

“The board replied back saying the wind must have blown it away,” Elif said.

She says some people have actually paid to get their stuff back, but she is holding out. She has proposed the fire department escort residents to ensure their safety, but while she says the fire department is on board the HOA hasn’t responded.

She hopes something like this never happens again.

“Some type of laws need to be changed,” she said.

CBS4 reached out to the attorney for the HOA but hasn’t heard back yet.

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