Nearly two dozen Sioux City residents are homeless after the city “red tagged” the apartment building in which they lived. Sioux City officials issued a statement this afternoon declaring the building unsafe for human occupancy after the building failed an inspection. Major Von Vandiver of the Salvation Army says he was told the building did not have a functioning fire alarm system.

“Just going through the building, I saw that a lot of the fire exits had padlocks on them, which is really a scary thing that people would try and get out of the building and come to a locked door,” Vandiver says. “Some of the fire doors were missing or had the glass missing.”

There are 40 apartments in the building, but only 12 were occupied. The Salvation Army is helping the 19 adults and three children who were left homeless, to ensure they have another place to stay. One family with school-aged children was taken to a hotel until they can find another place to rent.

“Quite a few of the single individuals that were living there have family or friends that they’re going to be able to stay with,” Vandiver says. “A couple of the people weren’t quite sure where they were going to go.”

Sioux City officials ordered residents to vacate the Jackson Manor Apartments by midnight tonight. In addition to fire safety concerns, inspectors found problems with electrical, plumbing and sanitation issues as well.

(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)