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Lunsford Circle apartments evacuated, boarded up
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Apartments on Lunsford Circle were evacuated and boarded up Thursday, a day after the property owner agreed that they were unsafe.

Denny Horne, who owns White Cotton Properties, signed a consent order Wednesday, acknowledging that the two four-unit apartment buildings were unsafe, said Capt. Tony Smith, Covington's Assistant Fire Marshall. Only three of the eight units were previously occupied.

The apartments didn't meet the fire code because they lacked fire walls between the units, a sprinkler system, smoke detectors or an evacuation plan posted on the premises. Structures fall under the jurisdiction of the fire department - and must have the above components - if they have three or more separate units in one building, Smith said previously.

In addition, Covington code enforcement officer Jim Berry said previously the apartments are unsanitary. One resident had been living on the premises for years without utilities, including water and sewer. Several candles on the premises gave proof to a lack of electricity.

The vacant apartments were also rumored to have been used as shot houses - where alcohol is illegally sold - and possibly housed a prostitution operation. Likely drug paraphernalia was also found.

Horne can now make the necessary changes for a multi-unit structure and get an appropriate license to operate an apartment complex/boarding house, or he can remodel the structure so it only has two units and; therefore, would have lesser requirements.