Work begins to demolish abandoned pool where two brothers almost drowned

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On Monday, the owner of an abandoned apartment pool where two young boys nearly downed sought and received a permit from the city of St. Paul to demolish it.

The Pioneer Press reports the project is expected to be completed June 15 and cost $10,000, according to the permit. Princeton Place owner Samir Abumayyaleh said last week that he intended to fill in the pool. He has owned the apartment complex at Maryland Avenue and Arundel Street for about a year and a half.

WCCO added that the work has started, showing a jack hammer that has begun ripping through the pool's concrete.

The station said that the manager of the property indicated that a playground would be built on the site of the pool.

“We will actually put top soil on top and our goal at the end of this is to build a playground so there are positive things for the children to do,” property manager Jennifer Thomas told the station.

Two young brothers fell into the abandoned, trash-filled pool on Memorial Day. Police say the younger boy, 7-year-old Sher K Por, fell in first and his brother, 10-year-old Ma K Por, jumped in to try and save him. Firefighters rescued both boys from 6 feet of murky water.

A family friend told the Pioneer Press that the younger brother suffered brain damage and has been unconscious since the accident. The older boy has been treated and released.

The two attend Frost Lake Elementary School in St. Paul. A YouCaring fund has been set up by the school community to assist the family.

The state took over pool inspections from the city of St. Paul in July 2013, but Minnesota Health Dept. officials maintain that shuttered pools are not part of their inspection responsibility, according to the Pioneer Press report.

The St. Paul Fire Dept. has asked the Health Dept. for a list of pools licensed in the city and has received a tally of 84 that are public. Fire investigators began going to the outdoor ones Monday to seek out any that aren't in use, according to Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard.

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