Jacksonville high-rise tenant worries A/C unit could spark another fire

Survivors of a Jacksonville high-rise fire worry their air condition units could cause another fire.

Survivors of a Jacksonville high-rise fire worry their air conditioning units could spark another fire.

In December, a fire began in an air conditioning and heating unit on the 8th floor of the Jacksonville Townhouse Apartments, displacing 200 people from their HUD-subsidized homes.

“It’s like Russian roulette. And the stress is just taking its toll on just about everybody in this building,” said one tenant of 19 years, who asked Action News Jax to conceal her identity because she fears retaliation from management.

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She takes care of an older tenant in the building and said she fears for his life because of his air conditioning unit.

“The air conditioner was just like, it exploded. And so, I took off running,” she said. “It was hissing like a pressure cooker going off.”

She said the top popped off a few days ago.

When she looked inside, she said she saw the words “problem fan” were written in there.

She said the fan looks burned and warped.

“I’m worried about his safety, but I’m also worried about the people in the rest of this building’s safety,” she said.

She said her air conditioning unit filled her own apartment with smoke long before December’s fire.

Action News Jax has asked Cambridge Management three times in the past month-and-a-half whether it plans to replace the units in each apartment, but spokesperson Katelynn DeSart has not responded.

“I did not think that we should have been moved back in here. I think that was a money part on theirs and they weren’t thinking about our safety,” said the tenant.

In the meantime, she’s making sure the A/C unit remains turned off.