By Tiffany Chan

ROXBURY (CBS) – Hundreds of Roxbury families are having to warm up with space heaters on Christmas Eve because a gas leak forced the heat to be shut off to their apartments.

The gas leak was first reported Friday night at the Academy Homes apartment complex in Jackson Square.

Residents were forced to use space heaters due to a gas leak. (WBZ-TV)

All 200-plus units are served by one gas meter, so service is shut off to the entire complex while National Grid makes repairs.

“We talk to management and they said they’re trying their best to fix it, but I don’t know what the problem is,” said Abdins Hamid, a father of eight children.

The building’s management company, Winn Residential, says they’re taking extra precautions when it comes to natural gas in the aftermath of the Merrimack Valley disaster.

While inspections and repairs are being made, residents have received space heaters and electric hot plates. The property management company is also providing hot meals.

Families impacted by a Roxbury gas leak make the most of their Christmas Eve. (WBZ-TV)

National Grid workers will have to replace the valves in all 11 buildings, unit by unit, before natural gas can be fully restored.

As for 9-year-old Edward Parga, he has one simple wish this Christmas.

“Hurry up. Fix the heat,” said Parga.

These tenants and the elected officials who represent them hope their calls for help will speed up the restoration process.

“Keep the pressure on utilities to get the power turned back on,” said Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz.

The building expects at least two dozen workers on the ground replacing the gas valves in each unit, with the hope of restoring natural gas by Wednesday.

Tiffany Chan

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