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Belleville couple braces for another summer without air conditioning

5 On Your Side reached out to property manager for answers.

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Fans and propped windows were the only things that gave one couple relief from the extremely hot temperatures on Friday.

Dawn Coffin told 5 On Your Side this would be her and her husband’s second summer without air conditioning in their Belleville, Illinois apartment.

“It's hot and muggy. He just got out of the hospital not too long ago so I'm worried about him. Something needs to be done,” Coffin said.

Coffin displayed her on-time rent payments to Dandell Property Management and the lease stated they are responsible for large repairs like the A/C going out.

She also noted she complained to her property manager several times and got promises or did not hear back from him.

“He'll call you back, he's not in the office. So, he's pushing us off,” she added.

With temperatures expected to peak this weekend, we put in a call to the landlord.

The manager told us they were working on getting the couple into another unit, which Coffin said she was told a month back, and would contact the cooling company as soon as possible.

“Always check on your tenants, but also do the right thing and give them the air. If they are paying you rent, they deserve air in the summer. You have a responsibility, a moral and legal responsibility,” Gentry W. Trotter, with Cool Down St. Louis, said. 

The organization advocates for people like Coffin, who are struggling to get the services they need.

As energy bills start to increase, they also assist people with disabilities, and low-income families with their payments.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, when people are exposed to extreme heat, they can suffer from potentially deadly illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

They also provide tips to stay vigilant during extreme heat: 

  • Stay out of direct sun and wear sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. 
  • Be extra careful about sensitive individuals like children, the elderly, or the sick. 
  • Never ever leave anyone or an animal alone in a car, or a pool or other risky location, not even for "just a few minutes."
  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening. 
  • Spend time in cool places like a shopping mall, a library, or a theater.
  • Remember pets! Make sure all animals have plenty of fresh water and are able to move out of direct sunlight.

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