Resident calls 911 as air conditioning unit breaks down in middle of heat wave

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey -- A situation has become dire to residents whose air conditioning systems have broken down in the middle of the heat wave that is hitting parts of the East Coast, including New Jersey.

Steady sweltering heat has been hitting the region for days and people living at the Blossom Towers apartment complex in Cherry Hill say their homes are nearly code red hot.

The reason?

The air conditioning system in almost all the apartments broke down Friday, right at the start of the heat wave.

Resident John Smarkola says it became so unbearably hot on Sunday that he had to call 911.

"I finally thought I will call police because I can't figure out what to do, and people are going to die unless somebody gets some help here," Smarkola said.

The police conducted door checks for everyone in the building and made sure the apartment complex began purchasing individual air conditioning units for residents while repairs are made to the central air system.

Paulo Pujol, HVAC manager for Haly Oil and Great Propane Company, told KYW that they have had phones ringing off the hook.

People are pleading for maintenance to make sure their air conditioning units don't break down, or to call for emergency repairs.

Those repairs, Pujol says, could be costly.

"If they are breaking right now, you could be looking at hundreds of dollars, maybe a thousand," Pujol said.

Forecasters say an excessive heat warning remains in effect until Tuesday night.