Post-Fire Photos of Round Hill
Almost three weeks after the fire, the apartment building remained closed to residents.
The May 1 fire displaced more than 100 people, The Gazette reported. At first, displaced residents thought they could move back into apartments or rooms not damaged by the fire.
Then, a little over a week ago, they were told that no one could enter their apartment units because asbestos had been detected, ABC7 reported. Now, they cannot access their personal belongings, as the building is closed.
"Though it is unclear from reports ... it is possible that the asbestos became a serious health threat to residents after the fire exposed and damaged building materials that contained asbestos," reported Mesothelioma.com, a website for patients of mesothelioma—a rare form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs, heart or abdominal wall, and the only known cause of which is asbestos exposure—and their families.
"Most, if not all, public and private buildings built up until the latter part of the [20th] century contained products with asbestos," Mesothelioma.com added.
"Naturally, asbestos does not pose an immediate health threat to people, but when the material is disturbed in any way, the resulting [airborne] fibers become highly toxic," according to Mesothelioma.com.
A chain link fence surrounds the damaged building, and residents' belongings—most damaged by either the May 1 fire or the water used to put it out—are scattered on the ground inside the fence.
More personal belongings—and cleaning mops—are outside on the balconies of upper-story apartments.