Apartment manager says 'I've been called every name in the book' - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Apartment manager says 'I've been called every name in the book'

Spanish Oaks Property Manager Ronald Morton Spanish Oaks Property Manager Ronald Morton

A sign on the front gates of the Spanish Oaks Apartments told residents they had until 5 p.m. on Friday to pack up their belongings and find somewhere else to live. 

The complex has been forced to close because of code violations. Fire marshals declared the complex unsafe for habitation, leaving its residents with no choice but to leave.

The Lubbock Red Cross set up a shelter for the displaced residents after Monday's fire. However, that shelter is scheduled to close on Saturday by 3 p.m., and several residents said they have no place to go.

Residents were left scrambling to move their possessions, but now property manager Ronald Morton says the deadline wasn't a "real" cutoff time.

"People will procrastinate and tend to not do things. The deadline was kind of like a prybar to get people in motion," Morton said.

But the residents say they didn't know that.

"We're finding out information on our own - we have to scavenge everything. It's hard, we shouldn't have to do that."

Residents were taking the deadline seriously, then, after noon on Friday, the signs were changed and the deadline was suddenly "extended indefinitely."

Morton says, "There was never intended to be a time when they couldn't get their property. They can get their property as long as their property is here, but now it's almost finished and the deadline worked."

"I've been called a monster, I've been called a crook. I've been called every name in the book, and I'm still here trying to help and trying to save this place," Morton said.

Morton says he is doing everything in his power to make repairs.

"The City of Lubbock has my solemn word that by the time I'm through, this place will be a lovely place," he said.

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