When we got a call from Cynthia Hill of Jamaica, Queens, we couldn’t quite believe what she was telling us — that the fire alarm system in the Shelton Houses where she lives has been out of commission for nine months!
“I call and they say they’re gonna fix it. But nine months I think is crazy,” Cynthia says. “That’s all ya get from them: We’re workin’ on it.”
Shelton Houses is a 12 story building with hundreds of residents, many of them senior citizens. And, sure enough, when we went over there, there were notes on the fire alarms telling residents to call 911. Special security guards were on duty in case of fire emergency.
Shelton Houses is a New York City Housing Authority building. So we contacted NYCHA and politely told them how unusual this scenario sounded. NYCHA got the message. It got the repairs finished and told us so within a few days.
Cynthia Hill is happy. She says the notes over the alarms are gone. So are the special guards. But no one ever bothered to inform the residents that the problem was fixed.
That’s life in our city.