Family without heat unable to get management to fix during subzero temperatures

Problem Solvers
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DENVER (KDVR) — A local family with nowhere else to turn is calling on the FOX31 Problem Solvers for help after the heat went out in their apartment Thursday night and they can’t get anyone to fix it.

Behind closed doors you can see Steven Trujillo’s breath. You can see his shivering puppy, but you can’t see his 1- and 6-year-old sons because it’s just too cold for them inside their home right now.

“My littlest one, he’s trying to get out the door, he’s crying he’s bawling,” Trujillo said. “They are saying ‘mommy, daddy, why can’t I go into the living room? daddy, why can I go to my room daddy?’ What can I tell them? You can’t go into the living room because the house is cold.”

Trujillo says the heat went out Thursday night in their three bedroom Denver apartment. That night, he says they called their complex’s emergency maintenance number and submitted an online work order.

“Nobody has been returning our calls,” Trujillo said. 

Additionally, Trujillo says they tried contacting corporate and showing up to the management office in person.

“I’m banging and banging on the door just to come get someone to do something for us,” he said. “What are we supposed to do sit in here and freeze? Get the kids sick? It’s ridiculous, it’s not human.”

While Trujillo says no one has returned their calls, a maintenance man came by Friday afternoon. However, the situation is far from fixed.

“We show up back out at our apartment there’s two small space heaters and I guess that’s what was supposed to take care of us until it is fixed,” Trujillo said. “The two space heaters they brought us to heat our whole entire house with every doorsill on every door in our house completely deteriorated and broken and they think that’s going to help us out.”

As this family covers airways with blankets trying to keep any heat, FOX31 Problem Solvers are working to get a hold of those in charge.

The office says they are closed on the door. We called and left messages by phone and email for the management company as well as corporate.

“We feel helpless right now, we really feel helpless,” Trujillo said.

There are state laws to prevent this exact situation. The Warranty of Habitability Law, among other things, requires that apartment owners provide heat to tenants. However, warmth is not what this family is feeling at home right now.

Problem Solvers also have messages into the Denver Environmental Health Office, the agency enforcing landlord and tenant laws in the city. 

The office encourages those in Trujillo’s situation to call 2-1-1 as well.

After this story aired on Sunday, one of the FOX31/Channel 2 viewers organized a GoFundMe to help the family stay warm and get through this situation.

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