Broken water pipe floods Coney Island home, affects heat

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CONEY ISLAND -

A Coney Island family says they had to go without heat or hot water during the recent blast of frigid cold after a broken water pipe flooded their West 15th Street basement and shut off their boiler.

"I boil my water to shower, and while it's boiling, I come downstairs, I sweep out the water so that I could turn on the boiler -- crank up the heat a little high," says Paul Sosa, describing what he and family have endured over the past five days.

The culprit is a flooded cellar in the vacant building next to Sosa. The property owner filed a complaint with the Department of Environmental Protection, but when no officials showed up, Sosa took matters into his own hands.

Sosa says he called the Department of Buildings, was transferred and could only reach the voicemail for the plumbing division.

Meanwhile, the property owner could not be reached, forcing Sosa's family to sleep in their coats and gloves over the cold weekend.

DEP crews eventually arrived at Sosa's home to shut off the water valve a couple hours after being contacted by News 12. The DEP says the delay in service was caused by a car parked right over the area where the valve is.

The DOB slapped the owner of the vacant property with a violation for failing to properly maintain the building. It's up to that owner to drain the basement.

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