Broome County officials are hoping to find a buyer for a large Town of Union apartment building where water pipes burst during the cold snap.

Thirteen of the 51 units in the complex at 3 Delaware Avenue in Endwell are paying rent.

The county took ownership of the property last April in a foreclosure proceeding.

Broome County sheriff's deputies alerted residents early Saturday after water lines in an unoccupied unit ruptured. Water at the complex was shut off and some units were without heat.

The problem originated after someone broke into a third-floor apartment and stole an air conditioner. The unit remained unsecured after the burglary and water pipes froze.

Water from the break caused some damage to other apartments on the first and second floors.

Some of the residents of the complex stayed elsewhere until heat was restored to their apartments.

County officials have been working to secure the dozens of empty apartments in the building to prevent squatters from living there.

Sheriff's deputies and state police have responded to a series of complaints at the complex. Town of Union code enforcement officials also have visited the property to assess living conditions.

Officials say the county is still dealing with legal issues with the former owner of the building. After those matters have been resolved, they will move to sell the property to someone who will be willing to do the work needed to make all of the apartments habitable.

A sign posted on the door of an apartment at 3 Delaware Avenue in Endwell. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Trash fills the front room of an unoccupied apartment in the county-owned building. (Photo: bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Toys in the snow outside the Delaware Avenue apartment complex. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

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