SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- After we aired our report on Tuesday about excessive heat in a Springfield apartment complex, tenants in another building in the city reached out with similar complaints. They have had to live in units over 82 degrees and they said their building management is citing a Massachusetts regulation that doesn't allow for a heat shut-off until June 15.
The residents we spoke to have tried creatively placing fans, closing off rooms in their own units, and anything to stay cool in the Indian Motorcycle building Mason Square apartments. After five days of excessive heat, they are wondering why they are paying for central air if it won't be turned on when it's hot outside.
“I have congestive heart failure and both forms of sleep apnea,” said tenant Lynn Belnavis.
It’s not that Belnavis has been able to sleep soundly anyway during the five consecutive days of heat in Springfield. She lives in the Indian Motorcycle building Mason Square apartments and she said the air conditioning hasn't been consistently on in her apartment.
“I woke up in a panic. I couldn’t get any air,” Belnavis added.
She's placed fans around the apartment.
“I’ve been sitting on my stool right at that fan,” Belnavis noted.
However, as Western Mass News found when we brought our thermometer in, it was 84.4 degrees. On Belnavis's stool, it was 86.4 degrees.
We went up a floor to another tenant who reached out us about the heat and before we even got to her unit, our crew found that it was over 90 degrees up there just as you’re walking through the hallway.
“I’m on, you know, supplemental oxygen,” said Lucille Holmes.
Holmes said she's feeling suffocated. Our crew found that it was 83 degrees in there.
We reached out to First Resource Management, which operates the building, about the issue. They told us, in part:
"...The system has been up and running. Unfortunately, overnight last night, a section of the system went down in one of the buildings. The contractor has been on-site since early this morning working to correct the issue. "
But because the tenants told us they have been experiencing this problem for days, Western Mass News asked follow-up questions of when they officially turned the AC on. We have not heard back.
However, both women told us when they brought their concerns to the building's management, they were given the same reason why the air conditioning hasn't been consistently running.
“The state said that we can’t turn on the air until the 15th,” Belnavis explained.
Holmes added, “June 15, that’s pretty much what they’re telling us.”
State officials told Western Mass News that the regulation mandating heat be provided until June 15 also sets minimum and maximum temperature limits that building managers and landlords need to keep in mind. That upper limit is 78 degrees. That’s much lower than what we found in person when we found other readings of 85.3 and 85.4 degrees.
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Going on four days of excessive heat and humidity means most …
“I mean, I wouldn’t treat a dog like this, I wouldn’t leave a dog in this kind of heat, never mind human beings,” Holmes added.