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Apartment tenants waiting for fixed furnace

Posted at 8:35 AM, Dec 14, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- With temperatures falling dangerously low over the next couple days, the Marion County Health Department wants anyone without heat to stay with a relative or go to a shelter.

But residents at an east-side apartment complex say the furnace went out on Dec. 3. Since then they've been doing what they can to stay warm.

"I'm really upset about it," Louis Jones said. "This here ain't nothing but a death trap."

The residents say they called their landlord with Brick Lane Property Management to get the furnace fixed, but the managers left space heaters behind instead.

"I turn my oven on," Jones said. "I turn my heat on on top of the stove and when it gets too hot, I turn it off."

They called Marion County Public Health for help.

"It's dangerous," Team leader Lara Morgan said. "If the temperatures continue to drop, you're dealing with the whole building freezing. If there's no heat, you also have the potential of having broken water lines as well."

They inspected the property on Friday and issued an order for no heat, giving Brick Lane 24 hours to fix the problem. 

By Monday, when it wasn't fixed, officials moved to send the case to court. It could get resolved before the hearing, but residents say that promise won't keep them warm at night.

"Shouldn't have to pay rent if there is no heat," Jones said. "That doesn't make sense to pay rent, and there's no heat."