By Tiffany Chan

MALDEN (CBS) – More than two dozen people were forced out of their apartments in Malden when a portion of their buidling’s roof collapsed Saturday morning.

“A fireman came and knocked on my door, woke me up and told me a part of the building had come down,” said Matthew Oberst.

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He is one of roughly 35 tenants now without a home after the parapet of the apartment building suddenly collapsed.

The debris took out a street light along Salem Street on the way down, leaving it dangling by the wire.

Oberst told WBZ-TV it’s a miracle no one was standing outside at the time.

“Luckily no one was hurt, but it’s a busy sidewalk,” he said. “There’s a bus stop right there. Anyone could have been walking by.”

Malden Mayor Gary Christenson said the city’s Building Commissioner is investigating why this happened, in this statement:

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“We are still in the process of investigation, but it appears that the parapet of this apartment building suddenly collapsed. The occupants of the apartment units are safe and in temporary housing while our Building Commissioner heads an on-going evaluation of the rest of the building by an engineer. We are extremely grateful that no one was hurt or injured by this incident.”

It’s a major inconvenience for those who call 166 Salem Street home. It could be days before they’re able to return to their apartments.

“I have no food. All my clothes were getting ready to go into the laundry. I’m diabetic and I can’t even take my wheelchair with me,” said Michael Geer.

Geer has lived in the basement for more than eight years and said he’s not surprised by the damage.

“I knew something was wrong with it a few years ago when parts of the building started falling off,” he said.

As the displaced tenants collect their belongings, and in some cases their pets, they have a strong message for the building’s owner and the city.

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“Take better care of the building so no one gets hurt,” said Oberst.

Tiffany Chan