Vigil held for 3 women found dead in Rogers Park apartment building amid hot Chicago weather

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With song and sorrow, residents of the James Sneider Apartments in Rogers Park gathered to remember three of their neighbors who died.

"People losing their lives because you can't turn on the switch to give us seniors some air," said Louella Pickett, a resident of the building.

The vigil was held exactly a week after 68-year-old Janice Reed and two other building residents, 72-year-old Gwendolyn Osborne and 76-year-old Delores McNeely, were found dead in their apartments amid soaring temperatures.

"We're older people, but we're human beings. And we pay rent here and we deserve better," added fellow building resident, Diane Williams.

The medical examiner said the cause of those deaths are still pending but residents said they had complained for days that the building was too hot.

RELATED: Calls for cooling ordinance grow after 3 women found dead in Rogers Park senior apartment building

"Janice asked for help. She went downstairs and she asked for help, like I did," said Lorna Barnes, who also lives in the building.

The building is owned by the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, which told ABC7 Monday it was cooperating with the city and conducting an investigation..

Alderwoman Maria Hadden, 49th Ward, said she was told by building management that the systems weren't switched from heat to air conditioning because of the city ordinance which requires apartments be heated to at least 66 degrees up until June 1.

"Last week it was really warm. We were cool by evening. Today, we're out here in sweaters. There's a lot that could be amended in this ordinance," Haddon said.

Hadden is looking to hold a city council hearings in the coming weeks.
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