Nearly 300 residents at Memphis apartments without heat, hot water as winter storm sets in

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An entire Memphis apartment complex is without heat as severe winter weather moves in.

Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing, with lethal wind chills well below zero.

Several members of Memphis-Shelby County Code Enforcement were on site Wednesday at the River City Heights Townhomes, located at 3716 Winchester Rd.

Workers told FOX13 they were answering an emergency call and what they described as “life safety issues”.

“It’s about to be snow on the ground, and we still don’t have gas,” said River City Heights resident Margaret Brown.

We learned that the entire apartment complex has no heat or hot water; this includes about 300 residents who are stuck without a heat source in the dead of winter.

One resident said he uses a handheld blow dryer to heat his entire apartment.

“We turn them on. We only use them at night; just turn them on and let them go throughout the night.”

FOX13 learned that the heat outage comes after an accident on Dec. 13, when a driver crashed into the gas line, knocking the heat out in all 100 units.

Residents are now left to wonder when their heat will be restored.

“They say tomorrow, but I know it’s not going to be fixed tomorrow,” said Brown. “This will be just like this for Christmas, and this is a hell of a Christmas to be spent like this.”

When FOX13 sought clarification on the meaning of “life safety issues”, Code Enforcement crews on site described the issues as leaking vent pipes, which could cause carbon monoxide concerns.

Para West Management purchased River City Heights Townhomes back in October. Executive Marketing Director Melissa Hooper said she had no knowledge of the carbon monoxide claims, but expressed that the company is willing to do whatever it takes to get the heat back on for the dozens of residents.

“We’ve offered to pay overtime and no one’s willing to stay any later than 3 o’clock,” said Hooper. “We want to get on the same page with them. We want to make sure that we get our residents’ gas back on so that they have heat for that cold snap that’s coming. We’re very concerned about that.”

In a statement released to our newsroom, MLGW said they would reconnect service after Code Enforcement inspects and approves repairs.

The City of Memphis said having no heat or hot water is considered an emergency violation.