Freezing tenants turn to portable heaters while landlord tries to repair furnace

SCHUYLERVILLE — While tenants in a large apartment building wait for their stove to be repaired, the American Red Cross chapter brought unusual supplies on Friday.

In addition to the usual hot coffee, food and blankets, the Red Cross also brought smoke detectors.

That’s because “people are using portable heaters in different rooms,” Red Cross spokeswoman Mary Alice Molgard said. “Many, many people were very aware of the Brooklyn fire. We thought that would be a way to be a little proactive.”

The fire on January 9 in Brooklyn killed 17 people. It started when a portable heater set a mattress on fire.

When tenants in Schuylerville had to resort to portable heaters to stay warm Thursday night, Red Cross volunteers began to worry about another fire.

There were 20 residents living in eight units in the complex at 19 Broad St. According to the National Weather Service, it was minus 8 degrees on Friday morning and minus 8 degrees were forecast for Friday night. It may be more than a day before your landlord can get the stove fixed, but the Red Cross cannot accommodate people in a hotel without experiencing a “disaster,” which is defined as a fire or similar event, Molgard said .

Parts are delivered to the complex for furnace repair.