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Frustration mounting over AC problem at Saint Andrews Residence in downtown West Palm Beach

Posted at 7:58 PM, Oct 04, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Frustration is mounting at a high-rise apartment building filled with senior citizens. They’ve been battling the heat without air-conditioning for five days following a fire.

West Palm Beach Police have responded to 208 Fern St. several times to field complaints. Some seniors said they felt exhausted and sick battling through the heat.

As the scorching sun beat down Thursday over Saint Andrews Residence in downtown, fans were running at full speed.

"It's very tough we're trying to cope, I'm trying to cope with it," said Maria Asiatico, who lives in the building with her husband.

"It is difficult to live in a building without AC in the tropical heat of South Florida," said Douglas Right, who has lived in the building with his wife for one year, and is about to hit his breaking point.

RELATED: No air conditioning after high-rise fire in downtown West Palm Beach

WPTV first reported on Monday the residents in the senior citizen community have been living without air conditioning since Saturday after a fire was sparked by an electrical panel on the roof. The AC unit broke after a motor malfunctioned.

Wendy Dragulski has been trying to make the best of it.

"They're providing all the water, big fans and they're checking on us every day,” Dragulski said.

But Right argued many seniors are feeling sick and management has kept them in the dark for days.

"People are fearful. There’s a lot of fear running through the building,” Right said.

"I know they're unhappy....I would be unhappy too it's hot,” said Father Paul Rasmus, who is on the operating committee for the building.

The building is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida. Father Rasmus says parts were delivered Thursday to fix the AC, and notices went out Tuesday with the schedule for repairs.

"We're doing as much as we can as fast as we can because we certainly understand who lives in the building and we know how difficult this is,” Rasmus said.

Local churches and volunteers are also providing some water and helping the seniors. Father Rasmus said the goal is to have the AC back up and running by Friday.