Lincoln Park Building to Have Heat, Hot Water by Monday

Building's boilers and water heaters were taken offline this week after an inspection showed the main chimney was leaking carbon monoxide

By BJ Lutz and Jeff Goldblatt
|  Thursday, Jan 26, 2012  |  Updated 9:30 PM CDT
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Building's boilers and water heaters were taken offline this week after an inspection showed the main chimney was leaking carbon monoxide.

Building's boilers and water heaters were taken offline this week after an inspection showed the main chimney was leaking carbon monoxide.

Residents of a Lincoln Park apartment building shoud have heat and hot water by Monday, a week after the main chimney was found to be letting dangerous levels of carbon monoxide into units.

Cook County Circuit Judge Daniel B. Malone on Thursday agreed to six-point order submitted by the city and the property management company to address the issues with the building, at 2738 N. Pine Grove Ave.

"My client feels -- doesn't feel good about the fact that this happened," said attorney Don Wilson, who represents the building.

The agreement calls for the installation of a temporary exterior chimney no later than Monday. Until then, seven licensed "fire guards" will patrol the property around the clock.

The building's boilers and water heaters were taken offline after an inspection showed the main chimney was leaking. It was originally understood the chimney was clogged.

"I've been missing hot showers. I don't like having to ask my friends if I can stay on their couches at night and it's good that I don't have to scramble to find alternative accomodations for very long," said resident Kate Lawson as she carried a space heater into the building Thursday afternoon.

The city's Department of Buildings filed a complaint against the building's property owner, Lakeview Associates, after complaints started coming in from residents this week about a lack of heat and hot water.

In a letter to residents, Lakeview Associates said the utilities would be offline for three weeks and advised residents to use their ovens to heat their units and their stoves to heat bathing water. The Chicago Fire Department strongly advised against using ovens to heat spaces.

"The Department of Buildings takes complaints like these extremely seriously, because these complaints are a matter of life safety," stressed spokesperson Caroline Weisser.

Under Chicago ordinance, landlords are indeed mandated to furnish an adequate supply of heat to their residents during the cold winter months. Building owners can be fined up to $500 for each day they don't provide heat, Weisser said.

The city will return to the property on Monday for an inspection on the 169-unit property.

"I don't know that there's anything that could have been done differently to have avoided this. All I know is that they've acted as quickly as possible," said Wilson.

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