SJ residents demand answers after 6 days without hot water, heat

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Three dozen families at a San Jose apartment complex finally have hot water and heat after a big tree fell and ruptured a gas line. It took six days to complete the repair at the Menclair Apartments off Interstate 280 near San Jose City College. Residents want to know why it took so long.

You can imagine the frustration when there's no hot water running out of the tap or shower. When it stretches into six days, there's a limit to asking friends to shower at their house.

Howard Huynh, a disabled card club employee, joined fellow residents in pestering work crews to find out how much longer it would take to repair a gas line that was ruptured when a tall eucalyptus tree fell last Tuesday. PG&E and the city say the landlord was responsible for the repair.

"All the neighbors, they've been coming out here to check it," Huynh said. "And they ask, 'well, are you going to finish the job as soon as they can?' But the people that do the job, they cannot tell you when they'll finish, like five or six days."

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A man identifying himself as a property manager would not talk to us on camera about the delay.

However, the building division at San Jose City Hall said it was never notified about the repair job until late Friday afternoon. It offered to send out an inspector to approve the repair, but the work was not completed until Monday morning.

"The repair work was completed, and then the city did expedite the paperwork so it could be issued immediately, and the gas has been turned back on as of today," said building division spokesperson Cheryl Wessling.

Once the repair was inspected and approved, PG&E crews quickly sent out a team to put the gas meter in line. Crews also went to each of the 36 units to light hot water tank pilot lights.

"The situation really is a good reminder for property owners to contact the city right away when a gas line has been broken and needs repair so that we're at the ready to expedite the process," Wessling said.

Six days enduring cold nights and cold showers are finally over.

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