BEAVER (KDKA) – Losing your heat in this cold weather is a big problem, but when the elderly are at risk, the problem becomes larger.

The windswept openness of Friendship Ridge only intensified the already biting cold. Around noon on Monday, the drop in temperature inside the building was hard to miss.

With one of the building’s three heat exchange units down, Beaver County Emergency Services were called in to help.

Beaver County Emergency Services Director Wes Hill said they brought in portable heaters and larger heaters with generators to warm up the building.

As the crew strung the temporary duct work to distribute the heat, the temperature on the buildings fourth and fifth floors continued to drop.

“We had 63 degrees on the fifth floor,” Hill said.

That might not sound all that cold, but keep in mind the building houses 219 elderly residents.

They reconfigured the remaining oversized heat exchangers to start picking up the slack.

“We’ve isolated the bad heat exchanger and we have the other two powering the building and we’re bringing the temperature up to Pennsylvania code,” Vice President of Friendship Ridge John Belko said.

By Tuesday afternoon, all floors were back in the 70s and once stabilized, Belko is confident the building’s remaining heaters can do the job until the third unit is repaired.

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