Mother looking for answers after ceiling collapses in family’s apartment in Van Buren Township

‘Every time I had to breathe, it was making me sick to my stomach’

A mother is looking for answers Monday after the ceiling collapsed inside families apartment in Van Buren Township. The incident occurred last week, and the hole has created a new set of problems for her family.

VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A mother is looking for answers Monday after the ceiling collapsed inside families apartment in Van Buren Township.

The incident occurred last week, and the hole has created a new set of problems for her family.

This issue at hand is a gigantic hole in the middle of the ceiling. The hole started days ago, but it’s not just what you can see. It’s what you can smell that is causing a problem.

“This is an emergency, and nobody’s treating it like an emergency,” said Shalonda Martin.

Martin is a single mother that already has her hands full with three kids.

“I have three boys,” Martin said. They are 11, five, and three. Two of them are autistic.”

So imagine Martin’s surprise when her ceiling came crashing down because of a leaking water heater in her apartment at Parkwood Manor in Van Buren Township.

“My 11-year-old could have been in there doing laundry,” Martin said. “That water coming down in that outlet could have caused a fire.”

Martin says the problems started about a week ago when she noticed the water leaking from the ceiling.

“Leaking was an understatement,” Martin said. “First, it was coming down from this pipe, all across this wall.”

Suddenly the ceiling caved in.

“The ceiling said ‘whoosh,’ and I’m like, ‘whelp, I’ve been waiting for that to happen,’ and the water was coming down on my outlet and my washer machine and dryer,” Martin said.

Plumbers came days later to replace the water heater, but the hole still remains. To make matters worse, it’s leading to many other problems like gnats that attract to moisture.

“I couldn’t understand where they were coming from all of a sudden,” Martin said.

The smell is unbearable.

“Every time I had to breathe, it was making me sick to my stomach,” Martin said.


About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.