PASCO, Wash.- Residents of Sacajawea Apartments were greeted with even more bad news Monday night.
They met at the Red Cross shelter where their building manager delivered news from the building owner that has pushed them to take action.
"She's changing the locks as we speak," explained Billie Vinson, the apartment manager. "She went into the office pulled out all of our leases, grabbed our keys and she said that we should only be prepared to take our valuables."
"I care about the people," said the building owner. "They are hurt. That's why I'm staying here late."
According to a letter from the building owner, the apartments are deemed unlivable. All tenants leases have been terminated.
"My belief is that all of our stuff is probably ruined and she's probably trying to just get us off of her back so she is not responsible for all of our belongings," said Vinson.
"I've worked 56 years to get the stuff I have," said resident Deborah Day. "Now she's telling me I have to sign a piece of paper to get my stuff and to get a small chunk of change."
Building owners have collected signed handwritten releases from some residents so they can collect their belongings.
"This is like a knife stab in the back," said Gabe Swan, another displaced resident. "Being cold hearted… they've done this to babies, they've done this to families. How could you?"
While fire officials are still investigating the building, residents tell NBC Right Now that some floors didn't have fire extinguishers, emergency lights were not on and people escaped the building in the dark. The residents were handed a notice of terminated tenancy Monday night. They say they plan to contact legal help and file suits. Tuesday they plan to picket in front of the apartment building with signs they've hand made at the Red Cross shelter.