HEAT ALERT

Excessive heat watch issued for parts of New Jersey with sizzling temperatures

Gas leak repairs leave people living in Brick Township senior complex without heat

Crews were able to restore heat to common areas and hallways and there is working hot water. But some people who live at the complex say their rooms were as cold as 45 degrees on some recent nights.

Jim Murdoch

Jan 31, 2024, 11:07 PM

Updated 140 days ago

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More than 150 seniors living in a building in Ocean County have no heat. The problems began last Thursday when a gas leak forced crews to shut it off.
It happened at Chambers Bridge Residence in Brick Township, a privately owned senior living complex.
"What's it feel like? Horrible. You gotta walk around with…and she says put on another hoodie, and another blanket that's not going to get it," said Rosalyn Williams, a renter at Chambers Bridge Residence.
"I believe it was one night or two nights somewhere around 45-50 degrees in her room," said Chris Hudson, whose mother also lives in the building.
Crews were able to restore heat to common areas and hallways and there is working hot water. But some people who live at the complex say their rooms were as cold as 45 degrees on some recent nights.
News 12 spoke with the senior property manager Debbie Bellas, who assured News 12 that there is plenty of heat in common areas, hallways and working hot water. Her concern for folks like Williams was apparent, but getting heat back to all units could still take some time. Brick Township Bureau Fire Safety Chief Kevin Batzel inspected the building.
"On Thursday, the fire department was called to the building to respond to an odor investigation. Upon checking the building with their gas meters, they determined the level of gas which was unsafe within the building. The gas company was notified, and the gas was turned off," said Batzel.
National Church Residences owns the building. It is a private company. Brick Township quickly authorized permits to the manager's engineer to begin emergency repairs - but for many of the residents, they don't have anywhere else to go until the heat is fully restored.
Due to the extensive nature of repairs, there is no definite timeline on when it will be completely restored. However, the managing company has contacted the Red Cross, to help relocate any residents if it's needed in the coming days.
In a statement to News 12, a spokesperson for National Church Residences said, “At National Church Residences, the safety and security of our staff and residents at Chambers Bridge is of great importance to us. During this very difficult and challenging time, we continue to focus on keeping residents informed about the status of the repairs and checking on their well-being.
Since the night of the incident, our property staff and corporate operations team have been working with New Jersey Gas, Brick officials, the local fire department and the HVAC repair company to determine the next steps to ensure this issue is fixed correctly as soon as possible. All of us at National Church Residences take pride in our efforts to offer a secure and comfortable community such as Chambers Bridge for our seniors to call home."


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