Heat restored at Provo apartment complex

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PROVO -- A 17-member team of construction workers repaired natural gas lines at The Boulders apartment complex on 750 S. 650 West in south Provo on Saturday.

As of 6 p.m., maintenance officials said the problem was fixed and the gas was back on.

Still, residents of 23 apartments had been without heat or hot water for 11 days.

Residents complained the apartment complex's management has dragged its feet getting repairs started. And while managers offered shower facilities at the complex's swimming pool, residents said the restrooms there have often been locked.

Maintenance supervisor Al Maseuli said the 388-unit complex is about 40 years old, which has complicated maintenance issues.

"We found another leak here and there. We want to make sure everything is fixed before we turn the gas back on," he said. "The owners are working hard, trying to get these people some water and heat."

Resident Tyrell Stevens said he came home from work a week ago Tuesday and saw workers examining an underground gas line they had dug up. He said holes in the line were big enough he could put two fingers in them.

"They said it could have blown up at any time. There are a lot of children around here," he said.

Stevens has been heating water on the electric stove to do dishes. His fiancee is expecting a baby any minute, and she has been using the hotel room of her visiting grandparents to shower.

Stevens and resident Candice Temple said work on the problem was at a standstill until Provo City officials and the media were called about the problem.

"It's been very, very difficult. I have a 2-year-old son and we've been having to boil water just so that we can put it in the bath tub to get a tolerable temperature," she said. "I first reported it last Wednesday," and she didn't see repairmen working until Friday.

Residents said they have been watching the weather deteriorate; concerned lower temperatures would make apartments without heat unlivable.

"It's obviously not a small, little fix and they were taking their time," Stevens said. "I didn't see anyone working on this for days."

Story compiled with contributions from Steve Fidel and Sarah Dallof.

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