Residents fed-up with gas leaks at Petersburg apartment complex

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Residents in one apartment complex are fearful and fed-up! In the last week, tenants at Jefferson South of the James Apartments have had to evacuate their homes multiple times because of gas leaks.

NBC12 first told you about the problem last week. Today, yet another gas leak and evacuation at that complex.

Maritza Bonilla invited NBC12 inside of her apartment to talk about what she calls, an ongoing safety problem at the apartment complex.

Bonilla called 911 today, Wednesday morning, when she smelled gas in her apartment again. She's concerned about her safety and the safety of her 2-year-old daughter, Kamiyah.

"It was a strong fume. You could smell it in here," said Bonilla.

A gas leak was discovered in her building. It's the third gas leak at the apartment complex in a week.

"We went through the building -- building 7 and found one leak in an unoccupied apartment," said Petersburg Deputy Fire Marshal, Jeffrey Fleming.

High levels of carbon monoxide were found in multiple apartments.

"I don't want anything to happen to my daughter. What if we're asleep one day and we don't wake up -- you never know - people die from carbon monoxide poisoning," said Bonilla.

Bonilla's building was evacuated for more than an hour. The fire marshal's office says faulty appliances, such as water heaters and stoves inside the apartments, could be fueling the problem.

"If a fuel fired appliance is not operating correctly and what I mean is if the venting to the atmosphere -- if it's not venting correctly -- amounts of carbon monoxide can build up inside the structure," said Fleming.

Valves in the impacted apartments are now shut-off. As a safety precaution Bonilla has removed her daughter from the home.

"I plan on keeping her elsewhere until I know it's stable enough for her to come back," said Bonilla.

After living at Jefferson South of the James for only two months -- Bonilla is looking to move.

"$620 a month - you have to worry about your safety - it's just not worth it," said Bonilla.

The fire marshal's office says management at the complex is cooperating to help resolve the problem. The complex has been ordered to hire a licensed gas contractor to check all of the gas lines on the property.

NBC12 reached out to management for a response -- our call was not returned.

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