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Residents left without air conditioning again after A/C pipes break at Brickell condo

Sep 02, 2023

Just hours after the air conditioning was repaired at a Brickell condominium, two pipes burst, leaving many residents once again with no A/C and with no clear fix date in sight.

NBC6 reported Monday that many residents in tower three of the Four Ambassadors were without A/C for over a week. They fixed it later that night, but on Tuesday, two pipes burst — affecting the A/C in 150 units and three commercial properties.

In the middle of this Fourth of July holiday, residents reported water gushing out of a pipe, while another pipe was seen on the ground. The parking lot was filled with water and the alarms went off.

"Alarm went off. There was water coming and I just found out whatever they were supposed to fix, it came apart and broke down again," resident Rafael Benitez said.

Robert Alwine, the president of the Bayview Condominium Management, told NBC6 Monday as they were trying to fix the A/C pipes that there wasn’t a guarantee a pipe wouldn’t burst.

Residents received a letter Tuesday morning stating the A/C was fixed — but some residents say their condos reached 94 degrees. Some had to buy portable air conditioning units to get some relief.

"We are supposed to be in the land of the free. What is this? No assurance for this – no assurance we are going to have A/C," resident Nahat Lugo Flores said. "No assurance at all, like, we are living a nightmare. Are we living in Miami or are we part of U.S. or what?"

Alwine confirmed the pipe they fixed Monday burst, along with another one. They plan to reglue the pipes but it will take over 24 hours to fix, adding there wasn’t much they could do.

“I have not slept well in eight days,” Lugo Flores said. “I’m starting to hallucinate some stuff, like it’s really bad."

Lugo Flores said her A/C came on for about four hours Tuesday and shut back off. She can't go to a hotel because she can't bring her dog with her. She, like many of her neighbors, doesn't see the problem getting fixed by Thursday.

"This is like putting a Band-Aid on something it is not really fixing the problem,” Lugo Flores said. "The apartments are just a nightmare."

Alwine told NBC6 their engineer and contractor walked the job again and estimates everything will be cured and they should be able to turn on the until at least Friday.

He added a couple of items they needed were not available because the supply house was not open on the Fourth of July.

“It’s extremely important that the glue cure properly so that we don’t have this problem again,” Alwine said. “Rushing it isn’t the answer.”

A man who residents say was Daniel Burdak, the Four Ambassadors’ association president, was seen outside the building, but he did not want to comment on the issue.