Washington, Iowa apartment building evacuated due to meth contamination

Unclear if 16-unit building will ever reopen, landlord says

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Residents of the Goncho apartment building in downtown Washington were forced out of the building Thursday morning. Officials said they're shutting down the building due to numerous safety code violations and elevated levels of methamphetamine.

More than a dozen residents were gathered in a nearby Fareway grocery store parking lot shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday. A police vehicle was brought in to help transport residents to the county jail, where they're being required to shower and change clothes.

"They're going to give us banana suits," said Maurice Jones, a resident. "They want us to burn our clothes because they're contaminated."

Residents were not allowed to take anything with them from their apartments. There are 16 units in the building, and most were occupied.

The building's landlord said he's not sure if the building will ever reopen. Police are assisting the residents with temporary lodging.

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