NYCHA Power Outage

Mike Smeltz/WCBS 880

Power Outage At NYCHA Building Leaves Wheelchair-Bound Residents Stranded

July 11, 2019 - 3:33 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Several wheelchair-bound NYCHA residents remain trapped in or outside of their apartments after a transformer fire left their building without power.

Miguel, a resident at the Jackson Houses in the Bronx, sat outside the building for the most part of Thursday, telling WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz he was forced to spend the night in his family’s car because he could not get back into his apartment.

The fire started about around 4 p.m. causing heavy smoke and flames to pour out of the building’s lower level.

“First instinct was to run, so I got into the elevator and came down. Ten minutes later, the power went down, so I’m glad I actually ran downstairs,” he explained.

Miguel was able to spend the night sleeping in his car with air conditioning on, but others weren’t so lucky.

One resident came downstairs and spoke to CBS2, saying the apartments were unbearably hot.

“This is summer time, it’s really hot up there, those apartments get so, so hot, I was out of breath,” Janette Aguayo said.

No AC is in high temperatures is one issue, but no elevators to help wheelchair bound residents get outside is a much larger problem for the residents.

“The amount of people that are stuck in their apartment right now, they need to do something about that, seriously,” Miguel said. “You got a lot of people that could actually die from what’s going on here.”

NYCHA says the other apartment buildings will run on generators while they work to get power back to Miguel’s building as soon as possible.

Cooling centers are open for residents and staff at the complex. The Red Cross is also providing services for residents.