Left In The Cold; Fresno Families Live Without Power For Days - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Left In The Cold; Fresno Families Live Without Power For Days

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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

Several families in downtown Fresno are going on their sixth night in a row living in the dark, without hot meals, hot showers, or a warm home.

They've been without electricity since fire ripped through their apartment complex last week.

The fire was last Tuesday. Renters say it was started by homeless people at an encampment and spread to the apartment complex. The people who live there say they feel completely helpless.

The fire damaged just one unit, but all 8 units in the complex are connected to the same electrical meter.

"It's been misery, we've been freezing at night because we don't have any heat," said Larry McCorvey, who lives next to the unit that was burned.

PG&E says it's waiting for the city of Fresno to inspect the electric and gas lines and deem them safe before it can restore power to the complex.

But renters say no one has made the necessary repairs.

"They put the fire out, and said they had to get it fixed and the fire marshal has to come out here and approve it. But before they do that, they have to get a hold of the owner, and the owner won't give approval for anybody to do anything," said Teresa Couch, who lives in the complex with her 3 kids.

To get by, she has been taking her kids to a friend's apartment for hot showers but for the most part, they're left in the cold.

"It's been tough, my kids can only eat so many sandwiches. They're used to having a hot meal," said Couch.

People here say they've paid their rents which includes PG&E and utilities, but the property manager has not been able to get the owner of the building to help them.

No one knows what else to do.

"We barely got a roof over our head and it's freezing cold in the apartment at night. I've been homeless and I know how it is. At least out there we can build a fire. You can't do that here," said McCorvey.

KMPH called the apartment manager several times, but he didn't answer our calls.

Records list the current owner of the building as a corporate trust out of the Los Angeles area.

People who live in the complex say the only person who can reach the owner is the manager.

They say the manager told them he can't get the owner to take any action, so no one knows when the power will be restored.

Under California law,  the renters can withhold rent, or file a lawsuit, if the landlord does not repair the complex and make the apartments livable.

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