Disabled mother trapped in Shoreline apartment when elevator crashed

SHORELINE, Wash. — A mother of three says their building’s only elevator collapsed with people inside. No one was hurt. But because she is in a wheelchair, she was trapped in her 5th floor apartment for days.

This happened last Friday at the Polaris North City apartment complex in Shoreline.

People living there say the elevator was out of service the entire weekend. That meant people with mobility issues couldn’t leave unless they were on the first floor. And nobody lives on the first floor of the building because that’s where the parking garage is.

So, she needed an elevator to get down from her 5th floor apartment.

This is how Kayla Raymond gets around, in her motorized wheelchair, often with a child in tow.

So, getting in and out of the Polaris North City apartments in Shoreline, well, as you see, even that is a struggle.

“There’s no handicapped entrances,” she said. “It’s supposed to be. It’s advertised on their amenities.”

But the struggle got even more real last Friday when her building’s only elevator suddenly malfunctioned.

“It dropped,” she said. “It dropped repeatedly and crashed on this floor. I don’t know if anybody has been here to service it. I have no idea.”

What she does know is that with no elevator it was impossible to get off her fifth floor.

What is her concern?

“Safety,” she said emphatically. “I don’t want to crash on the elevator. I rely on it. I rely on it. Yeah. And the other people, too. I’m not the only person here who is wheelchair bound. There’s a woman at the end of the hallway.”

And she says there was no information from management about the elevator crash; she heard some people were on it when it came down. And there was no way to reach management until Monday.

That trapped her and three young children inside all weekend long.

Their only help?

“My poor boyfriend,” she said. “He had to go up and down all of the stairs. Yeah. It was pretty crazy.”

We did reach out to Allied Residential, the Renton-based management company. But when KIRO 7 identified itself, the woman who answered the phone said “I’m sorry. I have no comment.” And hung up. KIRO 7 called a second time to let her know the story was airing, and she said “No comment” and hung up again.

After the story aired, Portfolio Manager Bruce Fisher provided the following statement:

“Allied Residential was not the manager of Polaris at North City when the elevator broke down. Our first day managing this property was Monday June 24th. And one of the first things we did was fix the elevator.

To give you some details about the elevator issues. Someone on the 5th floor triggered the fire sprinkler control valve that caused the elevator to stop working. The elevator did not fall, it simply stopped and no one was inside at the time. No calls were received from the monitoring service and we are not aware of any calls to the after hours emergency line but have been assured by the previous management company last weekend that phone numbers were posted and working. The elevator repair service was dispatched as soon as we arrived at the property on our first day of management and the elevator was back in service that morning.”

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