Brownsville tenants say they’ve been left without gas, hot water for days

Many neighbors told News 12 the gas was first turned off Tuesday and no proper explanation or timeline was given as to when it would be turned back on.

News 12 Staff

Nov 26, 2020, 11:38 PM

Updated 1,273 days ago

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Tenants of Plaza Residences on New Lots Avenue in Brownsville say two buildings in their complex have no gas for the second night in a row.
Many neighbors told News 12 the gas was first turned off Tuesday and no proper explanation or timeline was given as to when it would be turned back on.
They say management in the building ordered workers to distribute hot plates for cooking and then left, but the two burner hot plates are not enough to cook a full Thanksgiving meal.
Many elderly tenants have also had to go to family members’ houses to use their stoves.
There's no hot water either. Residents say the water running out of their faucet is lukewarm, and there are no answers coming from management.
A letter hanging outside the elevator in the building says the fire department had to turn off a valve which damaged it and caused a gas leak. It also says there are multiple teams of mechanics who were working Wednesday to replace valves in each apartment and will be back on Friday and Saturday.
However, tenants say that this still leaves them without a properly working stove on one of the most important holidays of the year.
"It is really heartbreaking to know that we have to one, worry about our children," says tenant Felicia Robinson. "It's already a pandemic and they already have things going through their mind, what happens? So, tomorrow knowing it's supposed to be a family day of love, and now we have to also worry about our seniors who cannot make a meal for themselves."
East New York Community Leader Christopher Banks adds, "On the eve of Thanksgiving, how can they do this? This should have been an issue that should have been addressed. This should have been a massive herculean effort to address this issue. "
National Grid says the issue happened on the customer's side of the meter, which means building management has to repair the issue on their end before scheduling an appointment to get the gas turned back on.
News 12 reached out to the building management and heard back with a statement Thursday, where they said:
“Last night, the Fire Department responded to a complaint of a gas smell in an apartment, and in the process of turning off the gas shutoff valve behind the stove, damaged the gas valve causing a significant gas leak that required the Fire Department to shut-off the main gas supply line in the basement...management immediately brought in the mechanics that have now isolated the heating and hot water boilers to allow them to operate, which they are now fully operating.
The more complicated part of restoring cooking gas to every apartment, is that every shutoff valve behind the stove in every apartment needs to be replaced because before National Grid is allowed by the Buildings Department and the Fire Department to turn on the cooking gas for the building, a 'pressure test; of the gas lines for every apartment in the building must be performed."
The statement goes on to say multiple teams of mechanics are visiting apartments and replacing the gas shutoff valves behind the stoves.


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