For nearly four years, Nicaraguan immigrant Claudia Blandon Soto lived in the basement of a Laundromat in San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood with about two dozen people — some of whom had called the subterranean space home for as long as a decade.
The city turned a blind-eye to the atrocity. The cramped, dark and dusty living quarters went “undetected” by authorities.
Soto, 44, lived in the basement with her husband, Osmar Blandon, 46, and their 22-year-old son, Carlos. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the steady thrum of washers and dryers droned a few feet above the basement where the tenants ate, bathed and slept.
The basement had been illegally subdivided into 20 units divided by panels of drywall. Each unit measured roughly 150 square feet. A crude bathroom blocked a hallway, exposed wires poked through the walls, and extension cords powered both fans and space heaters. The sole exit was 200 feet from the farthest unit.
A clueless Lt. Jonathan Baxter, a spokesman for the Fire Department, called the basement a “death trap.” The Fire Department ignored the problem for four years.
Their Police State solution? They gave the residents 48 hours to leave, putting two dozen more homeless people on the streets.
Enjoy your Police State.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle