BELMONT (CBS) – A seven-story condo building in Belmont was evacuated Friday afternoon after an engineering assessment found it had cracks on the upper floors.

“I just looked up and I just noticed that it had gotten larger,” a resident named Kurra said. “It’s an old building so I just feel like had they been on top of it for all these years we wouldn’t be here.”

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Kurra notified her landlord of the crack in her sixth-floor ceiling in late July. Engineers came to inspect the building at 125 Trapelo Road, and on Friday, they deemed it unsafe, recommending everyone evacuate.

Crack in wall and ceiling of a unit at 125 Trapelo Road (WBZ-TV)

“Actually it’s like a movie. I feel like a refugee. I don’t have this experience before,” said resident Bai Fang.

The town’s building inspector says there was no imminent threat of a collapse, just structural concerns, but officials say the memory of the deadly building collapse in Surfside, Florida in June ramped up their response.

“All of us are on a heightened sense of awareness. I think that goes for public safety officials, I think it goes for building owners, and building occupants,” Belmont Fire Chief David DeStefano said.

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As families waited for hours to find out where they could spend the night, frustrations mounted.


“It seems like since what happened to Florida and now it’s taken seriously,” another resident of the building said. “Those people had to die in Florida and now it’s taken seriously.”

The building itself is 65 years old and officials say the damage is on the sixth and seventh floors. Those who live inside are concerned cellular equipment on the roof is to blame.

“I want this problem being fixed,” Fang said. “It’s really unsafe living in this building if there’s the equipment on top.”

“I’m really shocked about this about very disappointed,” Kurra said.

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Engineers will be back to inspect on Monday. They have to do a thorough inspection then give the building owner time to fix any issues and get the building cleared with the town before anyone can come back home.