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The air conditioning was back on Sunday night at the James Sneider Apartments in Rogers Park, but it comes too late.
According to tenants and the ward alderwoman, residents complained about the oppressive heat at the senior living facility days before the women were found on Saturday.
Some said they were told by management that the company was still running the heat to avoid being cited by the city for turning it off too early.
Maria Hadden is the alderwoman in the 49th Ward. She said she plans to propose changes to city rules around cooling, especially around seniors.
“It’s a tragedy- avoidable,” Alderwoman Hadden said. “Especially our housing providers who you know, have license to house senior residents. A lot of our seniors have health issues, they have complications. There’s no ordinance around cooling! There’s no ordinance around air conditioning.”
Meanwhile, the three woman have been identified to the Cook County Medical Examiner has identified the three women who died as 68-year-old Janice Reed, 72-year-old Gwendolyn Osborne and 76-year-old Delores McNeely.
Roneisha Harris is a caretaker for her grandmother, Barbara, who is also a tenant and would stay the night there often, seeing Delores most days.
“It’s a deep disappointment that someone who’s fought through life to make it this far, has went this way,” Harris said. “She was always so sweet. Always asked about my grandma every day that I see her.”
Lorna Barnes lives in the building and was a friend of Janice Reed.
“She was like an angel,” Barnes said. “So every time I think of her, the tears come, I well up and my heart cries.”
The city says if you are concerned about high temperatures in your building, call 3-1-1 and the city will provide assistance.
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