‘High-rise hell’: Tenants at KCK apartment complex go month without A/C

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Tenants at a KCK apartment complex were hot, sweaty and fed up when they contacted FOX4 for help. They went without air conditioning all month.

This has been the second hottest May on record, according to the National Weather Service. The average high this month was 84 degrees.

The residents at Crossline Towers said they've been through hell trying to find relief from the heat. After FOX4's visit, the air was back on.

"When you've got breathing problems, you need cool air," Teresa Evans said.

Her life was miserable all month because of the lack of air condition in the high-rise apartment on North 7th Street and State Avenue.

"They do this every year," she said.

The 61-year-old, who suffers from emphysema and COPD, relied on fans to keep her cool.

"It's hard to breathe," she said. "You can't sleep. Even when you get a little sleep, you wake up and feel tired and wore out. You just feel horrible."

When FOX4 visited Evans on Tuesday afternoon, temperatures inside her unit were in the mid-90s.

"It doesn't get cool until about 3 in the morning," she said.

Jessie Ware lives two stories up from Evans.

"I'm standing outside because it's actually cooler outside than it is in the building," Ware said.

He has congestive heart failure and said the more tenants complained, the nastier management became.

"We`ve been trying and begging them to get it fixed," he said. "Everybody is paying their rent, but they`re just throwing us around in circles."

So FOX4 Problem Solvers went to visit management. KCK-based Hughes Development operates the building.

When FOX4's Zac Summers went to the manager's office, which is inside the same building, they had air conditioning. The property manager said the company's owner told them to shut it down until the tenants had air. They wouldn't say why that never happened.

But Property Management Director Jan Kennedy did say there was an issue with the power to the air conditioning chiller and blamed part of the delay on the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities.

She added that the building, which is more than 50 years old, has a two-party heating and cooling and that they have to wait until the heat is completely off until they can turn on the air conditioning.

"It's always, 'We got to order a part,' or lately it's BPU or an electrical issue," Evans said.

A BPU spokesperson told FOX4 the outage had nothing to do with the utility company and suggested the maintenance team at the property didn't prepare properly ahead of the steamy temperatures.

"It's an unrespectable living situation," Ware said.

Kennedy said management advised tenants of the issues and provided fans, but Evans and Ware said that wasn't enough, considering how long the problem went unresolved.

"It's sad. They're quick to rush you to pay your rent, but won't fix nothing in that building," Ware said.

"If I had money to move back to my old high-rise, I'd be so happy," Evans said.

The air conditioning at Crossline Towers came back on Wednesday around 1 p.m.