HITCHCOCK, Texas (KTRK) -- Less than 24 hours after ABC13 was at an apartment complex, where half a dozen units were without air conditioning, new units were being installed.
The video above is from the original report.
Hitchcock police Chief Wilmon Smith shared photographs with Action 13, showing the new units going in Friday morning. Residents said their air conditioning had been out for weeks. This week, Smith and the city of Hitchcock got involved.
"My concern is the public safety concern. It should not take someone becoming a heat casualty to get the attention of the management here," Smith said, speaking in front of the management office at the Independent Missionary Village Apartments at 6607 Prino Road on Thursday evening. "This heat can kill."
Before Friday, residents showed ABC13 how they were rigging their apartments to stay cool.
To cope, Walter Chapman was running fans. He bought a portable A/C unit at a pawn shop and hung a blanket as a barrier to help keep the cooler air in the bedrooms where his 1-year-old daughter spends most of her time.
Smith said there were at least six apartments without air conditioning amid a heat index reaching 106 degrees on Thursday.
Smith said he made calls earlier in the week and sent a letter on Thursday to apartment management, pleading with them to either make repairs or find other solutions.
"Why not provide them accommodations? Why should it be on them (residents) to provide the accommodations while they get their act together?" Smith asked, referring to hotel vouchers.
Instead, the city of Hitchcock provided hotel rooms for the residents Thursday night.
"The kids were able to play in the pool and cool off," Smith said Friday. "We are thankful for everyone who is helping."
A spokesperson for Royal American Management, the company that manages the property responded to questions in an email on Thursday.
"We are aware of the air conditioning issue at Independent Missionary Village. We ordered the necessary parts to make repairs, and we have provided window ac units for residents who are without air conditioning," wrote Amy Ausley, vice president of Business Development and Communications. "The central AC should be repaired by Friday, Saturday at the latest."
Smith said he got involved to help people who might feel powerless.