UPDATED | July 14, 2015 5:55 PMBy Steve Pickett


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MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM)Families paying rent at a Mesquite apartment community are finally getting what they pay for — air conditioning. Most residents at the Hillcrest Apartments agree the last week has been miserable.

We now know there were two ruptures in the line running from the chiller system and that meant nothing was flowing to keep air conditioning units cool. But Tuesday afternoon city inspectors confirmed the system is cooling again.

The roar of compressor units is exactly the sound parents like Cristin Watson needed to hear. She’s still running a fan for her children, including a 6-week-old baby, but there is now cool air blowing through the A/C vents.

For the last six days tenants were sweating it out inside their units or outside in the Texas heat. Hundreds of residents and their children endured sauna-like conditions, until portable fans and window units were provided.

Temperatures outside have been the warmest so far this summer. The thermostat recorded 98-degrees outside Watson’s apartment at midday. She said her husband would be happy to know the A/C was back online, but they’ve encountered the problem before.“They keep saying they can’t find the leak, well this is not the first time it’s happened. It’s the longest it’s happened, but for a year, it’s [air conditioning] often out two or three days. For the summer, 100-degrees, you can imagine how hot it is in here.”

Cristin pays almost $800 a month for rent, including utilities. Some tenants are now signing a petition urging management to bypass rent for August, because of the living conditions of the past week.

Jesse Alfaro, a Mesquite resident building inspector, said the A/C service for the complex is in compliance with city regulations, and apartment management will face future inspections. In all, the outage affected some 300 tenants.

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