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No Heat In Woodlawn Building Angers Residents

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Kimbark Building

Residents of this building in the 6100 block of South Kimbark in Woodlawn say they are living with no heat in the dead of winter. (CBS)

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Updated: 1/5/11 – 6:14 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – If it’s too cold for comfort outside, just imagine what it must be like with no heat INSIDE. CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez talked to residents in an apartment building on the South Side’s Woodlawn neighborhood.

Several residents in a building in the 6100 block of South Kimbark are angry – and cold.

And with temperatures expected to dip into the teens all week, they told CBS 2: enough is enough.

Mary Smith says the only thing heating her apartment are pots of water, her stove cranked to 550 degrees, and occasionally one of the radiators.

“I have two pots of water that runs constantly, 24 hours a day,” said Smith.

But today, like most of this winter according to residents, the radiators are cold. Like the back bedrooms, away from the hot stove.

Smith put towels around the windows in December when temperatures dipped into the single digits. But ice formed around them.

“Here’s another window that has ice. I want this to be seen,” she said.

Another resident, Jackie Dukes, says repeated calls to the landlord don’t seem to be working.

“They’re saying that one of the boilers went out. They’re saying that the hot water tank went out, and they had to get a new tank,” said Dukes.

While residents do what they can, they wait and worry, knowing that temperatures are expected to hit the teens every night for the next several days.

When asked if she is worried about leaving her stove running and getting carbon monoxide poisoning, Dukes said, “I’m more worried about freezing to death when I sleep than the carbon monoxide.”

Tenants did call the city’s 311 emergency line, and the Department of Buildings responded. But after temperature readings of over the mandatory 67 degrees, they said there was no violation.

Residents complain the only reason the temperatures met the standard is because of their stoves.

Building management responded Wednesday evening. They came out and met with tenants, promising that the heat would be turned on by Thursday. They said it’s not a building-wide problem, and was limited to a few units.

An administrative hearing was slated for Thursday. It may not be necessary now that management has promised to tackle the problem.

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