200+ Orange condo residents without gas for weeks

"It’s  like literally living in hell, especially with small kids," said Mika M, who owns a unit in the La Veta Monterey Condominiums in Orange. 

For almost three weeks, she and others living in the 200+ unit complex have been without gas.

"This doesn’t feel like a first-world country," said resident Arelis Rivera. "We don’t have the basics."

SoCal Gas tells FOX11 they shut off service to the complex on June 2 for safety reasons after detecting a leak. 

The company says the lines are owned by the complex, and it’s the responsibility of the HOA and Huntington West Properties, Inc., which manages the property, to fix the problem. 

As we walked around the complex we saw people having to cook outdoors. 

One person yelled down to us, "20 days without gas!" 

Everyone we came across had a story, they gathered around us, showing us pictures of contraptions they now have to use to get hot water to bathe.

They also showed us boarded-up trenches, capped gas mains, and gas pipes so rusted as one resident put it, they looked like they had been at the bottom of the ocean. 

"It’s getting pricey," said Ruben Ortiz, "we have to take out food." 

He adds he has to take cold showers after getting off of work. 

Mika M says she has to boil water to bathe her daughter, but because her stove is gas, she had to buy an electric kettle and also uses the microwave. 

Jeff Cunningham says he can’t do laundry. He works in construction and wonders why crews aren’t working around the clock. "It’s ridiculous that it has gone on this long," he said. 

"When this was known, it should have been identified and fixed."

Huntington West Properties puts the blame on SoCal Gas, saying the company refused to with work with them and they had to hire a contractor.   

The management company also told us that a leak hadn’t been found, but rather that gas had been smelled.

But letters to residents from SoCal Gas dispute that assertion. 

Residents also tell us they aren’t being compensated for their expenses, nor the inconvenience. 

They add they are still being charged HOA fees and many of the renters have been told to take it up with Huntington West. 

"We call and they laugh in our faces," said Rivera. "They hang up so what do we do? 

After media coverage, residents say they finally saw a crew along with SoCal Gas walking around the complex on Wednesday. 

The management company says the crews will be back on Thursday and that gas could be restored to 25% of the complex in about five days. 

But some residents say they’ve been told it could be a month. 

They’re wondering how long they have to be without gas before the city and county finally deems the units uninhabitable. 

Adding to their frustration is SoCal Gas, who says the lines are owned by the complex and it’s up to the HOA and the management company Huntington West Properties.

But in a call with FOX11, the management company blamed SoCal Gas for not working with them to identify the problem spots.

"It's ridiculous that it has gone on this long… when this was known, [it should have been] identified and fixed."

Residents wonder why crews aren't working around the clock, and accuse the HOA and Huntington West with being slow to fix the problem, and being hostile when asking for answers.

"We call and they laugh in our faces… what do we do?"