HomeRenters InsuranceWill Realty Building residents be able to retrieve their belongings? If not,...

Will Realty Building residents be able to retrieve their belongings? If not, what’s next?

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It has now been just over three weeks since the deadly blast at the Realty Building and it’s still uncertain whether residents will ever be allowed to enter the building to retrieve their belongings.

What rights do residents have and what is covered under renters insurance?

If the building is demolished like the mayor said Monday, certain things come into play depending on each person’s renters policy. If talks of saving the building end up working, residents could be granted access back inside to gather their personal items.

Currently, residents of the Realty Building say it’s been a waiting game.

Long-time resident Justin Reynolds, who was still inside his apartment when the building exploded, says his wallet and other important documents are still sitting inside the building.

“There wasn’t any thought of grabbing anything. You just kind of go into autopilot and grab what was alive — my pet — and get myself out. So I left with what was in my pockets,” Reynolds said.

Deanna Rossi had been living in the Realty Building for 11 years with her husband and two kids. She too has important documents still sitting inside that are difficult to replace, and tons of things worth a lot both monetarily and sentimentally.

“I had my purse on me that day — and a car key, my cell phone — same thing for my husband,” she said.

Most residents of the Realty Building are at a standstill.

“The biggest thing is that I don’t want to go through with rebuying everything because… what if we are able to get back in?” said Reynolds.

“This is a unique situation where some units, their property is not damaged, they just can’t get in,” said insurance agent John Mang.

Attorney Corey Grimm says renters insurance covers things like loss of property and additional living expenses. He encourages those with renters insurance to make claims but even then, it will still be a bit of a waiting game.

Even without insurance, Grimm says there could be recovery for them.

One of Grimm’s biggest pieces of advice is that residents have documentation of their damages.

“I believe there will be insurance coverages and there will be some responsibility, and it’s likely there’s either a lawsuit or some kind of class action that will provide some recovery for these people. But it’s so early at this stage, that we’re not going to know that right now,” Grimm said.

Grimm encourages residents to get a list of everything they have inside their apartment and try to give value to those things while it’s still fresh in their minds. That way, in the event something happens or their belongings are destroyed, they know what their loss is.

If a resident has renters insurance, they should still file a claim. If they don’t have insurance, they should speak with a lawyer.

Meanwhile, residents say they just want a definitive yes or no at this point regarding whether they can re-enter the building and retrieve their things.

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