By Amy Wadas

CHARLEROI, Pa. (KDKA) – Of all days to have your air conditioning go out, Tuesday was not a day you want that to happen.

The DEP issued a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for counties across our region due to the high heat and humidity. On this sweltering day, KDKA’s Amy Wadas found some people in an apartment building in Washington County who had to result to some old school ways of staying cool.

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The Mon Valley Initiative said calls started coming in around 9 a.m. Tuesday from tenants in a high rise in downtown Charleroi, reporting the building’s air conditioning was on the fritz. The people who live there had no choice but to find other ways to beat the heat today.

KDKA’s Amy Wadas: “How hot is it in your apartment building?
Betsy Boord: “85.”

That’s 85 degrees on top of a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day. According to the DEP, that means there’s unhealthy levels of pollution in the air for sensitive groups of people. People like young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems.

The building Betsy Boord lives in on 5th Street in Charleroi is for people 55 and up, and Boord reported the issue this morning.

Betsy Boord: “I called three people.”
Amy Wadas: “What did they tell you?”
Betsy Boord: “They’re going to be sending someone out at 12 o’clock.”

“We started receiving calls at 9 this morning. The air conditioning was out,” said Jason Togyer with the Mon Valley Initiative. “We immediately dispatched a maintenance tech down here. They confirmed the unit had shut off at some point.”

Early Tuesday afternoon, we spotted a crew on the roof, trying to fix the problem.

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“This is the worst possible time for your air conditioner to go out,” said Togyer.

Employees with the Mon Valley Initiative, which owns the building, passed out fans to try to help keep residents cool. However, Betsy Boord said that wasn’t enough.

“I’m miserable. I can’t comb my hair. Nothing,” said Boord.

She hopped on an air-conditioned bus and headed to the store.

Betsy Boord: “I’m going to Walmart.”
Amy Wadas: “To cool off?”
Betsy Boord: “Yeah.”

She is hoping things will be more bearable when she gets back.

“We will have to wait and see that’s all,” said Boord.

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The Mon Valley Initiative spokesperson said crews got the air running around 2 in the afternoon. Ironically, they were planning to come out today for scheduled maintenance.