Posted by Sue Achey on October 30, 1998 at 14:53:30:
I've been living in my current Manhattan rental for 6 years with no complaints or problems until now. Last year, when I lit a fire in my fireplace the smoke would come out in my neighbor's apartment above me, filling her space with smoke, leading me to believe the opening of the chimney was blocked, keeping the smoke from leaving building. Being that under my lease we are responsible for our own repairs to our fireplaces, she called a repair guy in who fixed the problem with a few screws and everything was fine. This year I haven't even used the fireplace yet and when I got home from work one day this week, my apartment was filled with a light, smokey haze and noxious fumes that I could smell down the hall--even before I opened the door. These fumes are harsh and sickening (like those from a car tail pipe) and after a few minutes my eyes started watering and my skin started to itch. I opened my windows and left for a couple of hours (not something I want to be doing every night this winter) and the smell was gone when I came home. I want to have a professional come in and check the problem out (for my safety and the safety of the entire building), but I don't want to pay a fortune and then have the landlord say that this kind of "emergency repair" is MY responsibility. I don't want to move. I love the apartment. But I'm paying $1470 a month to have a working fireplace. And right now I'm afraid to even use it. Can someone give me a course of action to get started? Thanks in advance!
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