Bush House Hotel Condemned, Residents Removed Due To Health Risks

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QUAKERTOWN, PA — Residents of the Bush House Hotel were removed from their homes on Wednesday after the Borough of Quakertown condemned the building, which has stood on W. Broad Street since the 1800s.

“After receiving numerous complaints from residents, the general public, and first responders, inspections were conducted at the Bush House Hotel in accordance with the 2009 International Property Maintenance Code which has been adopted as the Property Maintenance Code of Quakertown Borough,” officials wrote in a news release.

The building, originally constructed as a hotel for travelers on the Reading Railroad and which now essentially acts as low-rent apartments, was found in violation of numerous health and safety codes from Section 108.

These violations include: unsafe structures, unsafe equipment, structure unfit for human occupancy, and dangerous structure or premises. The criteria for safe habitation are detailed in the property code. Until changes are made, no one will be allowed to live in the building.

In a news release, officials said inspectors found heavy bed bug and German Roach infestation in multiple units on all floors, hallways, and common areas throughout the Bush House. The bugs had also infiltrated fire detection equipment and other electrical outlets and conduits, leading to many false alarms.

Rooms were also found to have heavy debris, food waste, and clutter. Inspectors said this can both harbor and feed insects, exacerbating infestations.

“An exterminator who accompanied Borough personnel on these inspections recommendation that the entire building be treated with both a liquid and heat extermination program,” Quakertown officials wrote. “The building will need to be de-cluttered, cleaned, and un-occupied for this program to be fully and properly performed.”

In April of 2018, one resident died in a structural fire that damaged a significant portion of the hotel.

“Since this fire, the owner has only undertaken minimal renovations to this portion of the building, which is still not occupied,” officials wrote.

An unknown number of residents will be evacuated from the Bush House due to the condemnation, and will be “asked to take a shower via a decontamination trailer.”

Borough officials said the residents will be given clean and dry clothes, will be medically evaluated, and will be taken to an evacuation center at Quakertown Borough Hall.

Once at the evacuation center, residents will be re-evaluated medically, be offered food and water, and meet with Bucks County, governmental, and non-profit agencies to determine new housing options.

“The Borough is committed to the health, safety and welfare of all the residents and have gathered together all the available options and resources possible together to help assist these residents,” according to a news release.

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