Family still without home 2 years after Westmont fire

WGN Investigates

WESTMONT, Ill. – The Rizmani family came here to pursue the American dream, paying cash for a condo in a suburban development.

But that dream took a hit when a fire ripped through the Westmont complex.

Now, more than two years have passed and the property still hasn’t been rebuilt. WGN Investigates got involved because the Rizmani family and other owners are still being charged monthly assessments, despite not knowing if and when they’ll return.

“A day after [the] fire we move everything out and they say [in] one year, it [will] be ready,” Rahim Rizmani says.

But that time has come and gone.

“I visit this place every day and look at what’s happening: Nothing!” Rizmani adds. “Every bit of my money I put in this building, this apartment.  I buy with cash because I sold my apartment in Serbia. My house. Everything.  And put it into this building.  And I start new with my wife and children.”

The fire started July 4, 2018. His unit was damaged by water, not flames.

But the entire building has been uninhabitable since.

Rizmani has paid more than $8,000 in assessments since then.

But he said the condo board and the property management firm won’t disclose the reasons for the delay or provide a timetable.

“No, this is not the American Dream,” Rizmani says. “This is a nightmare.”

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