People sleeping outside due to lack of air at Memphis apartments

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s so hot inside a Memphis apartment building that residents said they are sleeping outside.

It was another hot day for a senior living high rise in Memphis on Thursday, May 19.

FOX13 first told you Wednesday night about the hot conditions in Serenity Towers on South Highland Street. Management said taht the air would be on Thursday. But, when FOX13 visited, it still was not on.

SEE MORE: Repeated delays in providing air conditioning leave Memphis apartment residents frustrated and hot

Some of the residents at Serenity Towers at Highland said that it got so hot in their rooms last night that they actually slept outside.

”Yeah, I slept outside. I had my pillow and everything, and it was too hot. You could get butt naked, and it’s still too hot,” Charles Bowen said.

Vietnam veteran Charles Bowen said that he slept on a bench Wednesday night because it got too hot in his room at Serenity Towers. He said he’s not the only one.

He said he got eaten up by mosquitoes sleeping outside but he had no choice.

“No air. A lot of people are spending the night outside because it is too hot in the apartment. When it’s 98 degrees in your apartment and it’s 68 degrees outside, it’s automatic,” Bowen said.

FOX13 went to the front desk at Serenity Towers on Wednesday and they told FOX13 that they had to get an outside contractor to come switch from heat to air. The man at the desk couldn’t explain why they had to do that and he said FOX13 couldn’t talk to the manager.

From outside the building, you could see multiple apartment windows open.

David Leake lives at the apartments. He said the heat is unbearable even though the complex gave everyone who lives here box fans.

“All the money they spent on fans, they should have put on whatever the problem is with the air conditioner,” Leake said.

Leake said he left the window open all day and all night Wednesday night and it didn’t help.

“I slept by the window last night and woke up drenched,” Leake said.

The Millennia Companies, the management group for the Serenity Towers, sent FOX13 the following statement on the issues.

“The technicians were back onsite serving the system today; while planning to activate the chiller, they discovered a crack in the equipment. The vendor is now working diligently to procure the parts needs to fix the crack and replenish the freon. This work will require the removal of a large piece of equipment, which provides an opportunity to modernize other parts of the system to better safeguard against major issues in the future. The property management and leadership team are in regular communication with the vendor to ensure the system can be up and running as quickly as possible. Resources such as the cooling station, bottled water and wellness checks will continue to be provided until the system is working.  The staff will remain onsite 24/7.”

The City of Memphis also responded to FOX13′ inquiry, saying that Code Enforcement has been to the apartments several times resulting in a court appearance for the property owner.

“In response to your inquiry, the City conducted a code enforcement inspection at Serenity Towers after receiving tenants’ complaints of the air conditioner was not working. Upon inspection, several individual apartment units were in violation of City Ordinance.  While conducting the code inspections, City code inspectors observed additional violations including the hot water was not working and other code violations.

The property owner was issued a summons with a Shelby County Environmental court appearance date for May 18, 2022, and the date was reset by the court until May 25, 2022.”