By Lisa Gresci

BOSTON (CBS) – A North End building was condemned Thursday and the people who live in the apartments had to grab their belongings and get out.

The building on Hanover Street is home to dozens of people. One man tells WBZ his unit has been in his family for generations and he had only hours to make sure it was evacuated.

“I just got the most radical email I’ve ever seen; it’s just odd, you know,” Giancarlo Tiberi explained.

Giancarlo Tiberi had no other choice but to tell his tenant it was time to leave.

For him, the one-bedroom is much more than an income property.

“It’s been in my family for a long time. My grandparents lived there. I lived there with my wife … it definitely hits home. It has a soft spot in all of our hearts,” he said.

A mixed-use building in the North End has been condemned. (WBZ-TV)

“Imagine, you just get home and you can’t get your stuff it’s not fun,” Jess Phifer said.

Phifer came out with just one suitcase. It was all she could grab after she got the news from her landlord.

“He was just as surprised as I was. It really sucks right now,” she said.

The Inspectional Services Department says the building dates back to the 1800s.

While bricks have been falling and steps were taken to keep pedestrians safe, an ISD report indicates a deeper investigation revealed the worst.

Finding: “Catastrophic failure.”

A mixed-use building in the North End has been condemned. (WBZ-TV)

“Sections of the beams themselves had rusted to the point they were actually losing thickness,” Commissioner William “Buddy” Christopher Jr., said.

The fire department placed red “X” signs around the building. Meaning in the case of a fire, it would be fought from the outside.

“These are not just people’s apartments, these are people’s homes,” Tiberi said.

Sixteen units on one side, eight on the other, with two commercial spaces underneath.

One business owner called the situation a nightmare.

Now, everyone just wants to know when they can go home.

“I can’t answer that because I just don’t know,” Christopher explained.

“I want them to fix it,” Phifer said.

Inspectional Services says a group of engineers has to figure out what needs to be done to stabilize the building enough for these residents and businesses to move back in, if they can at all.

They expect that report by Friday at the latest.

Lisa Gresci