Mother of 5 demands action on illegal boiler that leaks in apartment

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A mother of five tells News 12 that several people have dropped the ball about fixing and removing her illegal boiler, and now she is demanding answers.

After living in a shelter for a year, Shanicka Chestnut says the Department of Homeless Services placed her and her family at 832 East 165th St.

Since then, she says she has had two gas leaks.

Con Edison red-tagged the boiler in her son's bedroom and temporarily shut it down after Chestnut smelled gas in November.

Chestnut says that on April 29, she had a similar problem when she smelled gas.

"I have a boiler in my son's bedroom letting off carbon monoxide, exhaust that could have potentially blew up at any time," she says.

Chestnut says her landlord had sent a plumber to fix the boiler after the most recent leak.

An inspector from the Department of Buildings also showed up and ruled the boiler illegal and ordered that it be shut down

Chestnut says that DHS inspected the apartment and told her it was livable, and so did her landlord. She says she can't understand why the boiler is still there.

News 12 spoke to the landlord, who said she was not aware the boiler was illegal.

The Department of Buildings issued a violation and an immediate cease-use order for the boiler that violates city building code.

News 12 reached out to the Department of Homeless Services, which deferred News 12 to the city's Human Resources Administration. It said in a statement, "The safety of our clients is a priority for the agency. We are working with this client to address her situation as soon as possible, and we will start the process to transfer her to another apartment if necessary."

The building landlord tells News 12 in a statement: "The apartment in question has been rented for decades to NYC's most vulnerable residents...the apartment is inspected twice a year by HRA once it is rented. This is the first we have ever been told there is a violation regarding the 100 percent legal boiler location.”

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