MELROSE, Bronx (WABC) -- People living in an apartment building in the Bronx without gas service for nearly 10 years rallied on Wednesday to demand action.
No gas, no rent is what the chanting boiled down to -- and for residents at 333 East 150th St., that's the easiest thing they can boil because for nearly a decade, their building has been without natural gas.
It has made cooking an inconvenient, expensive challenge on portable burners using butane or propane canisters.
"It makes me feel very frustrated that we don't have gas at all, and that we have to cook everything on two little stoves, I believe it's not enough for us to make a full meal or anything that's actually consumable," said building resident Luis Fuentes.
A look in one apartment showed a gas line in the bathroom. In the kitchen, the stove was removed and a gas pipe led nowhere.
"For them not to care about us or just not do anything about the gas situation, it's unfair, I feel it's cruel to us as tenants," Fuentes said.
According to residents, the previous landlord lived in the building but foreclosed on the property.
A court-appointed temporary receiver said he has spend over half a million dollars in repairs including a new boiler.
"We're angry, desperate, frustrated," Hilda Becerra said. "We want someone to finally listen to us."
Tenants say Con Edison has started work on the outside hookup to the building, but new connections inside will have to be tested and inspected and new stoves will need to be installed in each of the 35 apartments.
A tenant advocate met with residents Tuesday night to help put a spotlight on their suffering. If progress is not made by the end of the month, they are threatening a rent strike.
The city says it is working to figure out how it can help get the gas back on, safely and quickly.
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