The Dirty Fitness — a downtown fitness studio — was forced to close Wednesday due to maggots crawling on its ceiling that led to the discovery of building code violations.
The chain of events started when 52-year-old Troy Sean Paschini died undetected in an apartment above the studio in the 100 block of West Yosemite Avenue. His passing wasn’t discovered until about 8 p.m. Monday when another resident in the 120 Apartments went to check on him. Due to his body decomposition, officials determined he had been dead for possibly several days.
Decontamination crews were busy Wednesday afternoon disinfecting his room and removing its contents, according to a Manteca Fire Department battalion chief.
The man’s body had been removed from his apartment Monday night and taken to the county morgue for identification as is done in all unattended deaths before the family is notified.
Rose Bartlett, owner of the fitness studio on the ground floor with alley access, said firefighters removed part of her ceiling on Wednesday to find the source of the maggots that had invaded the interior of her business. Out of the ceiling came a trove of maggots falling to the floor.
She said when she first entered her business she had taken a stick and smashed many of the bugs.
Bartlett said her clients witnessed the maggots crawling on her ceiling earlier Wednesday morning and several of her friends stayed around helping move her weights out the door to another location. Bartlett said she and her clients have become like family. She added that when the firefighters came down from inspecting the second floor apartment they were all coughing from the experience.
The maggot infestation has caused her to cancel all her appointments with her clients for the upcoming weeks, she said, noting that she normally sees 40 customers each day.
While the city code enforcement supervisor Scott Cunningham and Battalion Chief David Marques were investigating the studio and the second floor apartment complex at the southwest corner of Yosemite Avenue and Main Street, the San Joaquin County Health Department was inspecting the Gypso Tattoo Parlor located just next door looking for maggot intrusion. Their findings were not immediately released.
Bartlett said she was given two weeks to vacate her studio by the Manteca code enforcement officer who found several violations in her building. She said the space she rents — only accessible through the rear parking lot — had been constructed without a building permit years ago. It is located directly behind the neighboring tattoo parlor.
Bartlett is looking for a new location for her operation. She also noted that last month she had to close for five days because of a sewer back up.
Apartment manager Rhonda Gunderson said the man had been known to be sick recently.
The building is owned by Gunderson’s father, former Manteca mayor Frank Warren.
“I hadn’t heard anything from him in two days,” said George Medeiros, a friend of Paschini.
“He was a super guy,” Paschini said. “He worked in Tracy at a railroad place. He worked Monday through Fridays all the time that is why I knew something was wrong because he did not go to work on Monday.”
Paschini lived in the apartments for several years.