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Apartment building owner cited for hundreds of code violations before fire

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - A city of Bloomington inspector found hundreds of code violations in an apartment building 11 days before it was destroyed by fire. 

That's according to our news partner, WJBC Radio.

The blaze gutted the 12-unit apartment building at 1101 Gettysburg Dr. on February 10. Documents reveal the inspector was on site January 30 and reported 226 code violations.

The fire of an undetermined cause left residents homeless and caused an estimated $650,000 damage. A Bloomington firefighter suffered minor injuries fighting the fire.

In December, the city filed a lawsuit asking a McLean County Judge to order demolition of the building and place a lien on the property for owner Wayne Pelhank to pay for demolition costs.

The city said the roof was leaking and not structurally sound. In an upstairs apartment, the city alleged that water damage had caused the floor to buckle. The ceiling, walls, baseboards, and carpeting needed to be replaced, according to the city.

Pelhank and Prairie State Bank and Trust face fines of up to $50 a day for each violation. A hearing on the code violations is set for February 28, and the demolition case is scheduled to go before a judge in June.

City Attorney Angela Fyans Jimenez said a separate case is pending against Pelhank for other apartments he owns in the 900 block of W. Front St. and the 900 block of W. Grove St. The city initially filed 572 code violations, but Pelhank has made some repairs.

Pelhank’s lawyer. Eitan Weltman, was not immediately available for comment.

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