Broken elevator at Normandin Square apartments puts handicap residents in a bind

LACONIA — A 24-hour elevator break down caused a little bit of a stir at the large Normandin Square Apartments building (22 Strafford Street) when some of the handicap residents couldn't get up or down the stairs to their apartments.

Building manager Julie Moore of the Laconia Housing Authority said the elevator broke on Monday morning but by late yesterday morning the critical part had been shipped overnight and elevator repair people were there by 8 a.m.

She said she sent out notices that in the case of extreme emergencies, tenants were to call the Fire Department for assistance getting in or out of the building.

Chief Ken Erickson said firefighters assisted two people who really needed assistance but fielded a number of phone calls from other residents — one of whom wanted firefighters to go to the store and buy him beer and cigarettes.

"I'm sorry, we're just not going to do that," Erickson said.

He said there were a few people who said they were a little disappointed in the Fire Department but Erickson said he had met with everyone involved and all of the hitches have been addressed.

There is only one elevator for the building.