After the explosion: West Village tenants still living without windows

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Tracey Rhoten is tired of living in the dark.

The building explosion that happened more than two months ago in downtown Durham severely damaged two of her windows at West Village Apartments.

One of them still has plywood on it.

"I like the apartments, I've always liked the city," Rhoten said. "I like being in the action, I like walking wherever I want to go and there is just a lot to do down here--the town has grown."

Rhoten is frustrated because she said the complex has not offered her any breaks in her rent. She also asked to be transferred to a new apartment but was told no.

"It's not the fault of West Village that it happened but the urgency to get it fixed has done been there," said Rhoten, whose window was blown completely into her apartment the day of the explosion.

West Village said it is on track to have the windows replaced by mid-July.

"Due to the age of the property, the windows had to be custom fabricated," said a spokesperson from the Connor Group, who manages West Village. "There were no readily available off-the-shelf replacements that would fit correctly and maintain the integrity of the historic building."

Meantime crews have installed clear Plexiglass for residents who asked for it to allow natural light into their apartments.

"We understand our residents are eager to have their homes back to normal and we are making every effort to restore the property as quickly as possible."

Rhoten has lived in the West Village apartments with her two daughters for more than a year.

"I'm beyond upset at this point. I don't want to look at it anymore," she said. "I want to be able to see the city. I want to be able to see people passing by and have the light as I'm doing crafts--just get what I paid for."
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