Residents of Matteson Travel Lodge can stay after authorities threaten to close it over security concerns – CBS Chicago
CHICAGO (CBS) – A roller coaster ride for dozens of families living in a southern suburban hotel after signs were posted saying they had to move for safety reasons.
But late Wednesday afternoon, they learned they could stay. CBS 2’s Steven Graves reports from Matteson what has changed. The local fire department said big issues needed to be tackled and resolved after people felt the panic of having no accommodation. A mother of five, Stephanie McWilliams was stressed Wednesday morning.
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“It’s really, really hard.”
The motel had been McWilliams’ home for the past few weeks after surviving domestic violence, reacting and scrambling to figure out what to do after news on Tuesday that she and others were staying at a Travel Lodge hotel in Matteson should leave before 5:00 p.m. Wednesday evening.
“Being here has actually comforted us,” she said.
Mc Williams added that she also felt safe, despite what the Matteson Fire Department described as “an abundance ‘of code and safety violations’. Officials said they were first briefed times in February last year when a person staying there complained.
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Firefighters later reported finding faulty smoke detectors in 20 rooms and sprinkler system issues on upper levels. Hotel management said they are tracking alarm upgrades and one control panel only needs minor fixes. They said firefighters took the plunge by threatening to shut down and that work with contractors to resolve the issues was underway.
“But because of COVID, we have to wait for people to come and give us our turn. And today was it. It was scheduled for today,” manager Latricia Washington said.
“The fire alarm issue has been an issue in the past and it’s now resolved,” Matteson Fire Chief Michael Bacon added.
On Wednesday, fire and city inspectors came out and gave the go-ahead. That means around 80 people like McWilliams are relieved to be able to stay. The fire chief did not give further details on whether there will be further inspections on other potential issues.
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CBS 2 has contacted Matteson Village, but so far no response. The hotel’s sister company, Wyndam Hotels, said it contacted the owner here when they became aware of the concerns, but it’s unclear when this happened.