Residents at NE Heights apartment left without heat

Updated: 12/06/2013 6:14 PM | Created: 12/06/2013 5:31 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The cold snap across most of the state means booming business for heater repair technicians, and we’ve heard from some people who are simply trying to get through it with heaters that have been broken for months. They are renters in an apartment complex near Carlisle and Constitution in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights. We know of at least 4 people living at the Altura Arms apartments with heaters that don’t work.

One of them is a man we’ll call “Jack” – he fears eviction if we reveal his true name. Jack showed us how he had to hotwire his heater to bypass an emergency shutoff thermo-limiter that fritzed out about a year ago.

“Because it’s broke I had to put these two wires together in order for my heater to even work,” Jack said. “Without them connected together the heater will not work.”

Jack acknowledged that what he did is dangerous, but he said he needs to keep warm.

We met other people who live at the Altura Arms who told us about pilot lights that won’t light or stay lit, and some renters who’ve taken desperate action. They are using their ovens to heat their apartments – something that firefighters say we should never, ever do.

Jack said he has asked the apartment management company 4 times in the last year to fix his heater.

“About two months ago a guy came out and all he did was take a picture,” Jack said. “He left and he didn’t even want to see the inside to see what was wrong with it. He didn’t fix anything.”

The management company told us they haven’t received any requests for heater repairs. They say they will try to get in touch with all of their renters at the Altura Arms and fix any heater that needs repairing.

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