Box 13, Folder 21, Document 40

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Box 13, Folder 21, Document 40

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The first information the Housing Authority received as to the above
occurrence came from a telephone conversation between a maintenance
mechanic at Perry Homes and the Manager on Sunday morning, February 26.
The Manager, Mr. Arthur F. Smith, had been called out of church to be
given the information that the tenants residing in Apartment 726, 2186
Clarrisa Drive, N. W., had been found dead in the apartment. The police
had broken into the premises late Saturday night, but had not notified
any Housing Authority personnel at the time the occurrence was dis-
covered. The Manager in turn telephoned the Executive Director and it
was arranged for the Assistant Technical Director, Mr. Ernest Bathke,
to proceed to Perry Homes for an on-the-spot inspection. Mr. Bathke
reached the site at about two o'clock Sunday afternoon in company with
the Manager, the assistant to the Maintenance Superintendent and a
maintenance mechanic, who entered the apartment.

The gas heater located in the living room is vented through a plaster
partition and connected to a transite vent located underneath the stair-
way on a diagonal and connected at the upper end to a vent from the gas
water heater, thence to a vertical vent through the roof. The transite
vent had become disconnected from the pipe leading through the wall
from the heater. The heater may have been exhausting fumes into the
apartment at this point. The space heater appeared to be clean and in
good condition and this was later confirmed by a detailed examination.
The plaster immediately surrounding the opening in the partition had a
broken edge rather than a smooth appearance. All other features of

the gas system were in good condition. The only evidence of carbon
deposit in the room was on a paper bag located on a shelf nearby the
vent pipe. There was no evidence of carbon on the windows or walls
within the apartment.

The records of the project Maintenance Department were examined and it
was determined that in line with instructions from the Central Office
to all projects requiring an annual inspection of all heating equipment
prior to the heating season, this apartment was inspected on October 20,
1966, and the gas space heater readied for operation. This inspection
was conducted by a maintenance group of three persons. Everything was
in order except that one glass in the front of the space heater was
missing and was replaced. This heating inspection routine also in-
cludes cleaning and adjusting the space heater and vacuuming the vent
system where necessary. The maintenance log also shows no requests
made for service in this apartment subsequent to the October 20 in-
spection. Since this occurrence, space heaters in all the other
apartments in the project have been inspected again and are in good

March 8, 1967


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