Cary couple concerned about gas leak in apartment

Michael Perchick Image
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Cary couple is considering legal action against their apartment complex, Woodlyn on the Green, after they say a town inspector discovered a gas leak in their apartment.

Kevin and Gina Cockrell moved to the complex in February, in part because of its scenery.

"I love Black Creek Greenway," explained Gina Cockrell.

While they still enjoy the pretty, tree-filled views from their living room, they're concerned over persistent issues on the inside of their apartment.

"We started getting headaches, coughing pretty badly, never seen before," said Kevin Cockrell.

He said the symptoms began in March. Initially, they believed they were stress-related.

At the same time, they began experiencing issues with their air conditioning.

"When we turned on the air conditioning, it was apparent that it wasn't working properly and we called the complex in April," said Gina Cockrell.

They said the apartment wouldn't cool, and maintenance would add Freon to address the issue.

This is similar to a complaint ABC 11 reported on earlier this month, when a tenant said the problem had forced her and her two young children out of the apartment.

In the Cockrell's case, they said the fix would work for about three to four weeks at a time.

Eventually, they wanted a long-term solution.

"Fourth time when we didn't hear anything back from them about what they were really going to do to fix the issue, that's when we became really concerned," said Cockrell.

Kevin, a contractor, and Gina, a licensed real estate agent, said they began taking note of other issues around the complex. Coupled with their personal experience, they reached out to a Town of Cary inspector to see if they could find the root of the problem.

"We couldn't put our finger on it. When he came out here, he took a look at the closet, and as soon as he opened it up, he smelled gas right away. Natural gas. Actually he called me over to look at it, and I witnessed it as well," said Cockrell.

According to Cockrell, the inspector told him the water heater was leaking carbon monoxide. On Wednesday, a plumber found a broken valve believed to be related to the problem, and made the necessary repairs.

While the Cockrell's are grateful for the assistance town officials provided, they believe the complex should have addressed the issue sooner.

In response, they have refused to pay their rent in July, and are requesting that all previously-paid rent be reimbursed, and for the complex to check other apartment's units to see if similar issues persist.

A Town of Cary spokesperson confirmed to ABC11 that an inspector was on-site Tuesday, but said the report would not be completed for a couple days. Until the report is completed, they could not comment further on their findings.

ABC11 reached out to apartment management for an interview or statement about the matter. They did not respond to our request, but did offer the Cockrell's the opportunity to transfer to a different apartment in the complex free of charge.

Cockrell noted Wednesday a staff member showed up to check out an unrelated issue in their apartment.

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