By CBS3 Staff

LANSDALE, Pa. (CBS) — Eyewitness News is working to get results for residents at a Montgomery County apartment complex without heat and hot water for three chilly nights. It’s a story Eyewitness News first told you about Monday.

Residents were notified just after 4 p.m. Tuesday that the heat was being turned on within 90 minutes.

On Tuesday, some residents took to social media to show that their gas had been turned back on.

Property management has offered three days rent credit but many residents we spoke with still feel left out in the cold.

Cellphone video shows a fire that started on the property Saturday afternoon. PECO confirms an underground fire knocked out gas to 155 units on Saturday.

Morgan Properties, who operates the complex, has handed out space heaters to residents, but they said it’s not enough, with temperatures inside showing 58 and 63 degrees from photos tenants have sent.

“They immediately blew the circuit in the apartment,” Jaclyn Scarborough said. “I have one plugged in. I have all the blankets on my dog. I have a fire extinguisher at the ready just incase.”

Chris Taing hasn’t been back to his apartment since the fire department told him to get out.

“They told us not much, just, ‘Hey, you gotta get the heck out of there, there’s a gas leak.’ So we didn’t hesitate and just ran out of the house,” he said.

Taing has a six-month-old baby and like many residents, has had to check into a hotel or try to find a friend or family member with a spare room — something not that easy in the middle of a pandemic.

“I’m grateful we have a place to stay, I know some neighbors don’t even have that,” he said.

Now, these renters are finding out that those costs aren’t covered by the renter’s insurance they’re required to keep.

Because the fire occurred in the common area and no units were damaged, renter’s insurance likely won’t apply.

What’s more, the rental agreement with Morgan Properties states that the landlord is not liable for utility outages unless there is negligence.

An insurance agent we spoke with urged tenants to ask the property for special expense consideration.

The lesson learned here is to check your renter’s agreement carefully and ask if something like this were to happen to you, are you covered?

CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports.


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