Springfield family struggles with no heat, house condemned - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Springfield family struggles with no heat, house condemned

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Condemned notices are now taped to the door of the two family home on Wilmont Street.

Until Tuesday a family of five had lived here with no heat.

But Mother Nature has forced them out. Monday, the Arctic cold busted water pipes in the abandoned apartment next door.

"Water was piling up, it was 4 inches off the floor downstairs, so it was just a matter of time before it came into here and in the hallway," said Tiffany, who lives there with her husband and three kids. 

Tiffany didn't want us to use her last name,  or film her or inside her home.

The pregnant mom lives here with her husband and three children. After water started pouring into their apartment they were forced to call city officials.

"If the landlords are not responding to them...give them an opportunity to respond and correct the problem, but get a hold of us as soon as possible after that,"said David Cotter, deputy director of code enforcement for the housing department.

His inspectors got five to six calls in just one hour Tuesday relating to heating problems or burst pipes.

This case on Wilmont Street is especially severe. Tiffany and her family have been living here rent free, but with no heat for more than a year, with no word from their landlord.

"We're struggling right now. We have three kids and one on the way, my husband's on unemployment and I work at Walmart," Tiffany said. 

They've been using dangerous alternatives to stay warm.

"Space heaters and the stovetop. We've closed the kids' rooms out and we just all camped out in here," she said. 

Cotter says that could have killed Tiffany and her family, and he had no choice but to condemn the house on Tuesday.

"That just makes the situation a lot more dangerous. You should always contact the 311 service, get a code enforcement inspector out there," he said. 

The family is getting shelter elsewhere.

City officials will find the landlord and notify them of the violations.

If you are experiencing an emergency with heating or pipes bursting call the city's 311 line.

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