Rep. Bobby Scott promises fix for Swanson Homes after CO scare

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WVEC.com

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 30 at 5:41 PM

PORTSMOUTH -- Congressman Bobby Scott met with concerned residents of Swanson Homes public housing complex following the death of a couple due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Steps have been taken to replace gas appliances at the complex in the wake of the deaths of Leroy and Inez Stith, but residents are still uneasy about possible leaks.

"We're uneasy because we don't know too much about it the carbon monoxide levels in our homes. There are some people where their alarms are still going off and they're very upset," said resident Yvonne Maddray.

Residents took their concerns to City council earlier in August and now have Scott's ear.

They discussed the need for regular replacement of backup batteries in CO detectors and regular inspections of gas appliances by an independent,  licensed third party.

They're also reviewing how well on-site management has handled the situation.

"I don't sleep, I don't get that much sleep, the only thing I'm worried about is him, making sure he's okay," said Nakita Veal.

In early August, the head of the Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority apologized to residents for failing to communicate the agency's plans to deal with the carbon monoxide problem

The meeting was held at Scott's Newport News office. Afterwards, he said, "I don't know how it's going to get fixed, but you can't have people living in houses with unacceptable levels of carbon monoxide. You have children living there, it's just not acceptable."

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