Con Ed: Illegal gas plumbing work forces service shutdown for Fordham restaurant, tenants

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The absence of gas continued through Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah, and there's no end in sight for tenants and a restaurant owner in Fordham.

Millie Peartree says she still can't get used to an empty restaurant. She says it has been more than a month since she was forced to close down.

Peartree has been serving soul food from scratch on the Grand Concourse for three years. "I lost my staff, I have no employees and this is my livelihood," said Peartree.

On Nov. 22, a Department of Buildings spokesperson tells New 12 that Con Edison filed a complaint after discovering illegal gas plumbing work and theft of service issues. They shut off the gas to the entire building that day.

This left Peartree not able to cook for customers or tenants. Stellar Management provided each tenant with a hot plate, but the tenants say that's not cutting it, especially for families.

The DOB tells News 12 a licensed master plumber was hired by the property owner, who will have to install a brand new gas line to the boiler. Peartree was told it could be a 6-8 month process.

Peartree is worried about what's next and is hoping she and management can talk, walk away happy and move on.

For now, they're spreading the word to continue calls to 311, as Congressman Adriano Espaillat's office is advising they do. They are also referring this case to the NYC Small Business Services Outreach Team.

When asked for comment on the issue, a spokesperson for Stellar Management responded in a statement, "Management takes gas service disruptions seriously and is working closely with Con Edison, engineers, and licensed contractors to restore service to the building as quickly as possible. Heat and hot water remain intact, and electric hot plates were distributed to all residents within 24-hours of the gas being turned off. Our residents’ safety remains our top priority. We apologize for any inconvenience, as we await Con Edison’s final determination as to when gas service can be restored.”

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