Couple receives new furnace after reaching out to Rescue Squad - WNEM TV 5

Couple receives new furnace after reaching out to Rescue Squad

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As the cooler weather settles in, the battle to keep heating costs down begins.

One local couple was desperate to find a new furnace after discovering theirs is not made to withstand Michigan winters.

Rose Bickel said she's worried for the upcoming winter months. She and her husband live in a mobile home and are currently using an electric furnace to heat the house. Bickel said they can't afford their power bill on a fixed income.

"About nine years ago a family member convinced us that it would be cheaper to get an electric furnace. At that time electric rates were a little bit lower," Bickel said.

When the Bickels had their furnace inspected last year, they said they were told it's a Florida made electric furnace and was not built to withstand Michigan temperatures.

"The Bickels said when the wind starts to come off the bay, winters are brutal. That's why they're in search of a gas furnace.

Rose Bickel said their Essexville home is in need of a new or refurbished mobile home-specific gas furnace in order to bring their payments down and the heat back up.

"Then we could, I wouldn't have to put important things on the back burner, insurances, doctors, medications," Bickel said.

Gary Hudeck said the Bickel's story and wanted to help. He has a furnace he wanted to donate to the couple.

"We just don't want it to go to waste sitting out in the shed, so we just figured we'd donate it to them," Hudeck said.

He said he only used it for three and a half months at his old home. Now he wants to make sure the appliance will keep the Bickels warm for many winters to come.

Once the Bickels found a replacement furnace there were two issues to be resolved. First, they had to know if the furnace will work with their home. Then they had to find someone who can install it.

"We want to look at the furnace that the people are providing to you and if everything goes right, we'd like to install that free of charge," said Paul Himler, with MJ Mechanical.

The heating and cooling company saw the Bickel's story and wanted to lend a hand.

"It felt great. It felt really good to help somebody in the community," Himler said.

He said the furnace will work for the Bickel's home and a crew will install it next week.

"Thank you TV5. Thank you everybody who called into your station on our request," Rose Bickel said.

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