BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Residents at an RV park in Bakersfield say the power box has been acting up for years now. More frequently in the past couple of months. They have reached out to management who told them it was overheating, explaining that is why they put a canopy over it to try and cool it down.
However, Monday afternoon it blew up leaving many of them without power.
"I look out the window and this thing is on fire, blowing sparks. My neighbor Ray had to come out and throw the fire extinguisher on it," explained Amber Ortiz, a Rosedale Village RV Park resident.
Ortiz does not have a generator and says she is one of 40 residents without power. Another resident, Louise Clayton, relies on her pacemaker and Monday night had to go to bed knowing nothing was monitoring her.
"It has to be plugged in next to my bed at all times. Electric. If my electric goes out, if something happens to my heart, what does that do?"
Clayton was there when the Kern County Fire Department checked out the situation Monday afternoon.
KCFD told 23ABC that since the fire was put out before they got there, it is now up to the property owners to hire an electrician to fix it. PG&E said that since it sublets the energy to the property, neither the equipment nor the maintenance falls under them.
Management says this happens regularly during hot months.
"Our residents are overusing their appliances trying to stay cool and this puts a dent on all the electricity," said Ruby Castro, an assistant regional supervisor with Laguna Asset Management which is in charge of the RV park.
But residents say this has been years in the making and are upset it had to get to this point. Amber Cope has been living at Rosedale Village with her two kids and husband for six years and says the power box has been jerry-rigged many times. Another resident even sent 23ABC a picture of a house fan being used to cool it down.
"They have not been fixing it correctly so last night was the last straw," said Cope.
"We were trying to be proactive you know, order something like I said that's still being manufactured," said Castro. "So we don't, you know, it's not available. Yet we were able to get ahold of this other unit from San Diego, but like I said it is in transport right now."
Castro says they initially offered to get one central generator but decided to just wait on that and wait on any other housing voucher since the new transmitter is expected to come in the next couple of days. She says if residents call management they would be told they are welcomed inside their clubhouse which still has power and AC. However, residents argue they did not know about this.
The residents 23ABC spoke with said they are reached out to the county’s code enforcement. When they came to the office to try and file a complaint, they realized it was closed. This leaves them on their own until at least Wednesday.