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Gingersnap
01-27-2009, 10:40 AM
WWII Veteran Freezes To Death In Own Home
Bay City Electric & Light Restricted Power To Man's Home After Not Paying Bills

POSTED: 2:20 pm EST January 26, 2009
UPDATED: 6:56 am EST January 27, 2009

BAY CITY, Mich. -- Officials in central Michigan say a 93-year-old man who owed more than $1,000 in unpaid electric bills froze to death inside his home -- where the municipal power company had restricted his use of electricity.

Neighbors and friends of Marvin Schur want answers as to how this could happen.

ďNow that we do know it was hypothermia, thereís a whole bunch of feelings that Iíve got going through me,Ē said Jim Herndon, a neighbor of Schurís. ďThereís anger, for the city and the electrical company.Ē

Bay City officials said changes are on the way in an attempt to not let another instance like this happen again.

An autopsy determined Schur, 93, died from hypothermia in the home he lived in for years.

Bay City Electric Light and Power sent Schur a shutoff notice through the mail a few weeks ago. Then crews placed a shutoff notice on his front door. A few days later, Schur was found by neighbors.

Bay City Electric Light and Power, which is owned by the city, said a limiter was placed on Schurís electrical line. The device limits the power that reaches a home, and it blows out like a fuse if power consumption rises past a set level. The manager of Bay City said the limiter was tripped sometime between the time of installation and the discovery of the man's body.

The city manager said city workers keep the limiter on a house for 10 days, then shut off power entirely if the homeowner hasn't paid utility bills or arranged to do so.

A medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on Schur told TV5 and WNEM.com that Schur died a painful death due to the hypothermia.

Dr. Kanu Varani has done hundreds of autopsies, and he said heíd never seen a person die of hypothermia indoors.

A neighbor who lives across the street from Schur is angered that the city didnít personally notify the elderly man about his utility situation. Schurís neighbor, Herndon, said Schur had a utility bill on his kitchen table with a large amount of money clipped to it, with the intention of paying that bill.

Right now the city said the situation is still under investigation. Marvin Schur was a World War II veteran.

Shameful. :mad:

WNEM (http://www.wnem.com/news/18566890/detail.html)

marinejcksn
01-27-2009, 12:11 PM
This is a tragedy. RIP Sir, your Country should have treated you much better than this. I treasure your service. :(

PoliCon
01-27-2009, 12:17 PM
The electrical company needs to be charged with murder. Full stop. THEY killed him.

megimoo
01-27-2009, 12:45 PM
This is a tragedy. RIP Sir, your Country should have treated you much better than this. I treasure your service to America . :(

fixed. Just a small hangup of mine !

Molon Labe
01-27-2009, 03:06 PM
Wow....this is a disgrace. I hope something good will come out of it like not taxing the elderly pensions, or social security benefits.
Veterans deserve so much more than this.

Phillygirl
01-27-2009, 03:40 PM
This is shameful. But I don't necessarily blame the utility company. If they were not contacted by anyone as to his status or situation, there really is not much they can do, other than follow their procedures. What a shame that he didn't have family or friend checking on him to make certain he was doing okay. I imagine he may have simply forgotten to pay the bills, or perhaps was unable to. If he was unable to, surely some help could and should have been given.

It is a good reminder to many of us to make certain we are checking on our neighbors and elderly family. This shouldn't happen to anyone in this country, but particularly not our vets.

Zeus
01-27-2009, 06:00 PM
This is shameful. But I don't necessarily blame the utility company. If they were not contacted by anyone as to his status or situation, there really is not much they can do, other than follow their procedures. What a shame that he didn't have family or friend checking on him to make certain he was doing okay. I imagine he may have simply forgotten to pay the bills, or perhaps was unable to. If he was unable to, surely some help could and should have been given.

It is a good reminder to many of us to make certain we are checking on our neighbors and elderly family. This shouldn't happen to anyone in this country, but particularly not our vets.


Ones veteran status is irrelevent to the situation. It's a good emotive tearjerker attention grabber is all. I agree the utility company not to blame. From the article it does sound like someone did somewhat keep an an eye on the old guy.what was the timeline but 2 days. Just on of lifes cruel situations is all.

Phillygirl
01-27-2009, 06:43 PM
Ones veteran status is irrelevent to the situation. It's a good emotive tearjerker attention grabber is all. I agree the utility company not to blame. From the article it does sound like someone did somewhat keep an an eye on the old guy.what was the timeline but 2 days. Just on of lifes cruel situations is all.

While I agree that someone physically checked on him, it sounds like he didn't have anyone watching over his finances and his bill situation. It is a common problem for many elderly, as well as some that are mentally impaired in some fashion.

It sounds like the matter could have been easily resolved, but he may not have known where to ask for help, and others that were at least keeping an eye on his physical well being probably had no idea that he wasn't able to, or simply wasn't, paying his bills.

Yes, it was a cruel situation filled with coulda's and shoulda's.

PoliCon
01-27-2009, 11:52 PM
The power company had to know SOMETHING of the mans situation since they went there and installed a governor.

AHeneen
01-28-2009, 04:14 AM
The power company had to know SOMETHING of the mans situation since they went there and installed a governor.

They could have knocked on the door to no answer.

Constitutionally Speaking
01-28-2009, 05:46 AM
From what I understand, the city explained to him how he could turn it back on in an emergency. Not that it diminishes the tragedy.

ljswisc
01-28-2009, 06:01 AM
Here in Wisconsin the electric/gas company can't or won't turn the power off until April no matter how much you owe on your bill for this very reason. I don't know... turning off someone's power in this kind of weather could cause death in almost any case. Especially when the person is elderly. With all the people losing their jobs in these days it could happen to entire families.

Celtic Rose
01-28-2009, 08:56 AM
Here in Wisconsin the electric/gas company can't or won't turn the power off until April no matter how much you owe on your bill for this very reason. I don't know... turning off someone's power in this kind of weather could cause death in almost any case. Especially when the person is elderly. With all the people losing their jobs in these days it could happen to entire families.

It does seem like a very unwise decision on the part of the power company. Hopefully this tragedy will make them review their policies to prevent this in the future. :(