North Toledo man uses heat gun, hot plate to warm home - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

North Toledo man uses heat gun, hot plate to warm home

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As temperatures continue to plummet, many homeowners are having heating troubles driving some of them to take desperate, dangerous measures to stay warm.

 "I'm mad," says Nick Diacou of North Toledo. "I'm really mad."

It is 48 degrees inside his home on Gramercy Avenue.

 "It's freezing in here," says Diacou, who is bundled up in his winter coat and hat.

The 64-year-old is using a hot plate with a steaming pot of water on top, as well as a heat gun --- normally used for carpentry work --- to heat the house.

Blankets drape between rooms and tape outlines the front door in an attempt to seal in what little warmth remains.

Diacou says his gas has been shut off since Thanksgiving.  Columbia Gas removed the meter outside.

"Must've been a mix-up in the billing. To be honest with you, I don't know," says Diacou.

Diacou owes Columbia Gas money, but admits he won't wait patiently on hold whenever he calls customer service.

A spokesperson for Columbia Gas says the company actually shut the gas off at that home 11 months ago.

"It's a situation where you get yourself in a hole and you can't figure out how to do anything but keep digging and that's only going to put you in deeper and make you do things that are desperate and not wise," says Chris Kozak with Columbia Gas.

Meanwhile in Springfield Township, a single mother has a furnace on the fritz.

"I heard a big boom like at two in the morning and it shut off and never came back on," says Latoya Dunklin.

On Tuesday, Dunklin says the temperature in her apartment dropped to 50 degrees.  Ever since then, maintenance has replaced a fuse or a part and the furnace kicks back on.  But it only runs briefly.

"We freeze every night until the next morning," says Dunklin.

Dunklin is relying on space heaters, but worries what will happen as the temperatures continue to plummet.

"It's so cold that if you're laying down in bed, your hands are cold, your face is cold, you don't want to get up and go to the bathroom," says Dunklin.

Dunklin says, if need be, she and her son will stay with her mother this weekend. 

The spokesperson for Columbia Gas says Diacou of North Toledo needs to call the company.  Kozak says there are a lot of programs available to financially help him get the gas restored so he stays warm in the arctic blast.

www.ColumbiaGasOhio.com

Columbia Gas Payment Plans: 1-800-344-4077

Winter Reconnect Order (Public Utilities Commission of Ohio): 1-800-686-7826

Winter Crisis Program (Ohio Development Services Agency's Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program): 1-800-282-0880

United Way: 2-1-1

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