INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A deadline to restore heat to a north side apartment building has come and gone. Dozens living in the complex at 3630 North Meridian Street say they’ve been without heat the past seven days.
“Everyday is just going worse and worse and worse and worse,” said resident Jay Griffin. “Right now, it’s been a week, it’s actually been seven days that the building has been without heat.”
30 people live at the complex. The issue is the boiler. Building manager Shane Brown says it took until this cold snap to notice it wasn’t working properly.
“It was not safe and it needed to be shut down, and I finally got someone to back me on that and we shut it down,” said Brown.
The person who backed him on that is current property manager Ryan Cadwell of Park Place Property Management. He says fixing the boiler would cost $15,000. Cadwell says he can’t authorize the repair unless the owner agrees to pay for it.
“It’s not mine, so I can’t make that final call. If it were mine, I would be able to make that call immediately,” said Cadwell.
Cadwell was on site Thursday working to move the residents to other properties. The building is owned by a man named Blaze who we’re told lives out of state. 24-Hour News 8 called him multiple times but got no response.
Residents had been using their stove tops and ovens to keep warm, but because of safety concerns, the gas was shut off this morning.
“No heat yesterday, no gas today, what are they going to do tomorrow, cut the lights off?” said Griffin.
But the issues here go beyond the lack of heat.
“What you see right now looks like hell, but it was worse, it was worse.” said Brown.
Charles Winslow lives in a bathroom that doesn’t have a floor.
“This is unacceptable. Can’t even invite my parents over, they don’t know anything about it,” said Winslow.
“‘I don’t care.’ Basically that’s what we’re getting from the owners,” said Griffin.
The health department doesn’t have the power to force the residents out, but the courts can. This case will now likely go before an environmental judge to determine if the building is in fact unsafe.
The residents would have 38 days to vacate the building. The health department is also helping them find new housing.
The Marion County Public Health Department released the following statement Thursday evening:
The Marion Co. Public Health Department returned for an inspection this afternoon following the 24 hour emergency order issued on Nov. 19 citing no heat in the building due to a non-working boiler. The building continues to be out of compliance and owners remain in violation. Paperwork is now being prepared for court and will be filed on the morning of Nov. 21. A hearing date will be set by the court for the matter to go before a judge. MCPHD’s community liaison also visited the property today to offer any referrals to services needed by residents during this time.