NewsLocal News


Keep out: Alderwoman urges residents to stay out of deadly mall

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 20:21:05-04

After a local man was electrocuted to death at Northridge Mall, an Alderwoman is urging people to keep out.

Ald. Chantia Lewis says news of a man dying while working on the mall is proof of how dangerous the abandoned mall is.

"My heart goes out to the family," Lewis said. "[But], I'm hoping people take this as an unfortunate tragic lesson to not go into the building and let's just stay at bay so we don't see any more tragedies in this building."

Lewis has been very outspoken about the dilapidated mall; pushing for it to be razed. However, it has become a hot spot for vandals to get inside ever since YouTube star Casey Neistat used the location for a promotional video in 2017.

"There had not been all these extra things that were happening until that video became viral," Lewis said. "It was unsafe before, but now it's even worse."

Monday, Victoriano Diaz was finishing up his workday when he was electrocuted while trying to close an open fuse box. It had a live wire inside, although everyone on the site was under the impression there was no power in the building.

"We went in a couple of years ago and there was no power," Lewis said. "We had to bring our flashlights. To see there was actually power to that circuit breaker, it blew my mind. That's what I mean when I say, you don't know what dangers are lurking."

On top of Monday's tragedy, Lewis says those who go inside are putting their health at risk with exposure to asbestos and mold. She is in agreement with the family of Diaz in saying, the building has to go.

"It's been affecting the community," Rosangela Diaz, Victoriano's sister said. "It's uglying up the community. It needs to be knocked down. We need to build something better in that area."

TODAY'S TMJ4 tried to contact the attorney for the owner of the mall but did not receive a callback.