WHITE PLAINS - Residents of a White Plains building say they were forced to leave due to building code violations.

One resident said city officials came to 77 Ferris Ave. to shut off the lights and gas. The residents living in the building, many of them immigrants, were left with nowhere to go.

Neighbors told News 12 that about 20 families, including many small children, are squeezed into the four-story building.

The fire department says the building has several code violations, including inadequate smoke alarms, no emergency exits and hazardous gas and electric systems.

Fire Chief Richard Lymon says an apartment in the garage was built without a permit, which is illegal.

The owner of the building, Jaime Reyes, was in court Wednesday to answer to the violations.

Officials tell News 12 that a complaint at one of Reyes' other properties in the city prompted them to check out the Ferris Avenue building, and that's when they discovered the conditions.

It's unclear how long it will take for the landlord to resolve the issues and how long people living there will be kept out.