Heating company steps in to help elderly woman with broken furnace

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — 81-year-old Ida Alexander was covered up with sweaters and blankets Thursday morning.

“A day like today, it’s awful cold,” Alexander said. “When you wake up in the morning you hate to throw that cover back.”

ida-alexander-2She has a couple of space heaters working and and runs the burners on her stovetop.

“Night and day, they’ve been burning,” she said.

Alexander’s furnace was shut off in October when a technician found cracks in the heat exchanger. The technician’s visit was part of a program called Heat the Town – a community outreach effort by local heating and air conditioning companies. They donate their time and resources to provide heating and air conditioning services to low income elderly and veterans.

Ida was told that someone would follow up.

“Just knowing they would come kind of kept my spirits up, but now it’s gotten to where I’m getting miserably cold,” Alexander said.

In recent days, running the space heaters and stove top burners for so long began to feel dangerous.

“Nah, it ain’t good,” Alexander said. “But I appreciate them finding the crack (in the heat exchange) and I’m not blaming the company.”

Alexander contacted NBC4 and we reached out to Hetter Heating and Cooling. Owner John Hetterscheidt has helped lead the charitable Heat the Town effort over the years.

When he learned of the situation, he immediately sent a technician to Alexander’s home. Hetterscheidt said it appears that a clerical error by one of the other companies involved allowed the situation to slip through the cracks.

By late Thursday, a technician got Alexander’s furnace working again. A new furnace will be installed on Friday.

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