639 Emerson St. in Watertown. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Tenants of a duplex at 639 Emerson St. were forced to leave their home after the basement in the house was flooded and the city codes enforcement office condemned the property.

The fire department was called to the duplex on Sunday to pump out the basement that had four feet of water following a rainstorm. Firefighters called the codes department after it was learned that the hot water heater became dislodged, causing a hazardous situation, according to fire department officials.

Public Works Superintendent Patrick Keenan said the flooded basement was not caused by an ongoing issue with basement flooding that occurs whenever there is a bad rainstorm.

Calling it an isolated incident on Emerson Street, he thinks it was caused by a plumbing or drainage issue from the house. Firefighters were also called to the duplex on July 18 for the basement being flooded when nearly 50 basements ended up with rainwater.

But the fire department went out to just a handful of homes for flooded basements Sunday.

Six tenants were forced to leave the duplex.

The property is owned by landlord Meira Shapiro, who lives in Oswego County and has accumulated 10 other rental properties in recent years. She bought the duplex in 2019.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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