Kissimmee condo mysteriously shifts, cracks, prompting evacuation

Osceola County officials called to Sun Lake Condos

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – A Kissimmee condominium building was evacuated Tuesday due to "significant cracks" that happened when the building shifted for an unknown reason, officials said.

Osceola County building officials were called to the Sun Lake Condos at 3164 Sun Lake Court after the cracks, some of which are several feet long, showed up on interior and exterior walls.

Resident Dana Briggs, from California, thought it was an earthquake.

"What happened yesterday is we heard a jolt in the house. Sounded like an explosion," Briggs said. "The building basically came off of its foundation. So now we have to evacuate."

Osceola County spokesman Andrew Sullivan said the building was deemed unsafe.

Several tenants and condo owners, including Zachary Rand, were packing up their belongings in rental trucks Tuesday afternoon.

"They told us we have to be out. We don't know when, so we're trying to cram everything in and peace out," Rand said. "Flipped in an instant. I had to wake up my roommate and told her we might be evacuating our house today."

Because of the urgent evacuation, some tenants said they were anxious and nervous.

"Basically I have to find a place to store my items, find a new place to live. Didn't expect any of this overnight. So quick something like this can happen," Briggs said. "We're left without money to work, and we're left without a place to put our things. We're left without a home."

Briggs and other tenants said they turned to the Sun Lake Condominiums' HOA for help but were denied.

"We've been on our own since yesterday," Briggs said.

Some tenants expressed frustration that the HOA wasn't giving them answers.

"No one knows anything, not the HOA, not the city," one tenant said. "This is ridiculous. No one can tell anyone anything."

The HOA would not answer questions from News 6 about what happened, what the HOA will do to fix it, and whether anything will be done to help renters and owners.

Sullivan said it's up to the HOA to address the problem before Osceola County building officials will allow residents back inside.

Residents said the building recently flooded. A water line left on the building shows the water came up several feet high. A large watery swamp sits directly behind the building.

Sullivan said the cause of the shift is not known, and officials are unaware of any nearby sinkholes or any work being done in the area. 

He said the building was evacuated out of an abundance of caution.

No other details have been released.

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