BAY COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) — The heat is off for several apartments at a Bay County complex.
It appears that a number of heaters were emitting carbon monoxide.
Country Meadows in Bangor Township is a residential complex for seniors.
At present, half of the 120 apartments have been extinguished due to poorly maintained heating units.
As for the heat, the owners of the complex have so far distributed portable heaters.
The owners have also purchased carbon monoxide detectors for each unit as they begin the process of replacing heaters, a process that Bangor Township officials have been frustrated with.
“Either we deal with it or we don’t,” says Jesse Ochoa.
He returns to his Country Meadows apartment near the Bay City mall, where half of the 120 units have been turned off due to carbon monoxide issues.
“I’m worried, I’m disabled, my wife has multiple sclerosis,” says Ochoa.
“We inspect every rental unit in the township, it took us a while to get into this place,” says Bangor Township Supervisor Glenn Rowley.
Rowley says once heating inspectors walked in earlier this month, they found issues.
The heating units of about 60 apartments had cracks or holes.
The company that owns the complex, Millennia Housing Management in Ohio, was going to tender for new heaters.
“You are putting people at risk, this is not acceptable, we need to fix this now,” Rowley told the company.
“They emit carbon monoxide, the unit will still operate normally, other than it will emit carbon monoxide into the units rather than out the exhaust like they were supposed to,” says Tim Mark, building manager of the Bangor Township.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause illness and death.
“With the holes I’ve seen here, yes, it would have been dangerous to live in those apartments,” says Mark.
Millennia has purchased approximately 120 carbon monoxide detectors and a contractor will begin replacing heaters next week.
Patricia Stroemer, 90, has lived here for about 18 years. She thinks the management was aware of the heating problems in the summer.
“I think it’s a bit late, I think they should have done it a lot sooner,” she said.
Again, apartments that cannot use their heater are currently equipped with a portable heater.
It is not known when these heating units were last inspected.
This afternoon, Millennia released this statement on the situation.
“During an inspection of the apartments, the inspection manager marked 59 magic packs (the heating and cooling unit of each apartment) in red, indicating that work needs to be completed.
To clarify, the property management team had ordered carbon monoxide detectors before the inspector’s first visit; these devices have been installed in each unit and there have been no problems in this regard.
To restore the heating units to working order, the property management team quickly identified a specialist supplier.
The supplier is due to be on site Monday to review the work, and repairs are due to begin Tuesday.
We recognize that the interruption of normal heating service has caused inconvenience to residents. The property management team has made portable heaters available and will continue to monitor residents to ensure their well-being.”