State rep: no more heat shut-offs

State rep: no more heat shut-offs

There are 122 comments on the WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan story from Feb 16, 2009, titled State rep: no more heat shut-offs. In it, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan reports that:

A Muskegon County state representative is calling for an investigation into whether the state could have prevented the deaths of two children in a house fire.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan.

Will

Bad Axe, MI

#22 Feb 16, 2009
I thought Obama is supposed to be paying for everyone's heat now. What is up with this? Where is my free stuff?
kai

Allegan, MI

#23 Feb 16, 2009
Bassman--If I don't pay my phone bill for 2 months it gets turned off. If I don't pay my cable for 2 months it gets shut off. This family hadn't paid their bill since September, had racked up over a 1500 dollar balance and that isn't enough to shut it off in your mind? I think DTE was more than patient with this family. Keep in mind these children didn't die because of the cold, they died because of the reckless actions of the adults charged with keeping them safe. Living in a heated house isn't a god given right, its a privilege. Some can afford it and some cannot.
Just Wrong

Indianapolis, IN

#24 Feb 16, 2009
Who is going to pay my propane bill? I have to PREPAY for delivery. This winter it has cost us $600 a month and that's with the heat set at 58 and the upstairs closed off. I'm sorry, but passing a law prohibiting shut offs doesn't help those who really need help. It only encourages those who already receive help to act even more irresponsibly.

Those kids didn't die because the heat was shut off. They died because someone was careless. Tragic and horrible, but not the fault of the gas/electric company.
cassie28

Muskegon, MI

#25 Feb 16, 2009
I'm confused, SHE was being paid by the state to watch those kids yet she was at the store when the fire broke out? First of all why wasn't she doing what she was being paid to do, care for those children! Second as I've stated many other times, DTE is a business, a business that survives by selling a service. This business went for almost 6 months without getting paid a dime for the service they provided until reaching a bill of $1500.00. Why, if the mother of the children was making $600.00 a month and the grandmother was being paid to watch those kids, did they not pay anything at all towards that gas bill? It is heartbreaking and awful that these kids died but why should DTE feel responsible for this? Do you go into a restaurant and expect free food for 6 months? Do you go into the store and expect to be given all you want for free for 6 months? Do you go to a hair salon and expect $1500.00 in free haircuts? Do you go to the gas station and fill up for 6 months for free? DTE is no different they provide a service that needs to be paid for when you use it. If you don't pay the bill, you don't get the service. This is a bad case of mixed up priorities and those priorities do not lay at the feet of DTE!
Bassman

Chicago, IL

#26 Feb 16, 2009
This is the coldest time of the season. No! it shouldn't have been turned off with children in the house. It's not right the children suffer for the mistakes that were made. Wheter the utility or the parents were responsible. If you were making $300.00 every 2 weeks could you survive and take care of a family and pay for it all in this present day?$300.00. That's down right poverty.
I understand where you all are coming from. I just have a hard time with the children suffering for anothers mistake. No matter who is at fault. 2 children have parished..

God be with this family.
Will

Bad Axe, MI

#27 Feb 16, 2009
WHERE is my FREE STUFF??? Obama promised it to me, and he hasn't delivered! I want my mortgage and my utilities paid for NOW.
internet troll

United States

#28 Feb 16, 2009
Bassman wrote:
This is the coldest time of the season. No! it shouldn't have been turned off with children in the house. It's not right the children suffer for the mistakes that were made. Wheter the utility or the parents were responsible. If you were making $300.00 every 2 weeks could you survive and take care of a family and pay for it all in this present day?$300.00. That's down right poverty.
I understand where you all are coming from. I just have a hard time with the children suffering for anothers mistake. No matter who is at fault. 2 children have parished..
God be with this family.
Open your eyes to the plight of your fellow man bassman. There are literally millions of children who's parents are struggling to get by. Just how much blame should DTE take for the fact that so many are falling on hard times?

I have a cousin who has never had a job and lives on Social Security. Somehow, she always has heat and has never burned her house down by lighting her laundry on fire with a kerosene heater.

If she did burn down her house with a kerosene heater, I wouldn't ever think of blaming DTE for her decision.
KLV

Allegan, MI

#29 Feb 17, 2009
NekosBot20l6b wrote:
<quoted text>
You are mean and heartless and I am going to pray God sends you to H e l l!
Calling a spade a spade is judging? And how Christian to ask God to send someone to hell. Kind of seems the opposite of His will, I was of the impression He is patient, not wanting anyone to come to wrath. Might want to freshen up on your Bible reading there bud.*winks* Pretty sure He will hold our ignorance accountable. I know pretty well what it is like to have to take responsibility for my poor choices. More could use a dose of reality than relying on the government to save them. That is the idea of Christ being a Savior. Make sense?
hangingr

Grand Rapids, MI

#30 Feb 17, 2009
look now
hangingr

Grand Rapids, MI

#31 Feb 17, 2009
why was the grandmother getting paid to watch the kids?
bob

Homer, OH

#32 Feb 17, 2009
This should never happen again!
bob

Homer, OH

#33 Feb 17, 2009
im from gr. not detroit!
woodsprite53058

Detroit, MI

#34 Feb 17, 2009
DTE USER wrote:
Now it is sad that 2 children died. Very sad. But what about the responsibility of the adults in that house. They didn't get a hold of the power company, they didn't pay the bill for almost 6 months! We have to depend on ourself first and foremost not government. I have to pay my bills.
I agree. Very sad. I have had my gas shut off before too...during time that i just could not squeeze out $210 a month in the winter. I tried to get onto the budget plan but first you have to pay off all your debt (no overdue amount)...if I could have paid off the debt I would not have needed the budget plan. I was sent to Salvation Army but did not qualify...I was one of the many WORKING poor...or as they called us "underemployed". It was a horrible time in my life but I made it through...I can afford my bills now.
My point, even when I could not afford the full $210 a month in the winter, I paid SOMETHING. It may have been $30.00 but I paid. These people did not pay anything since Sept. 08...anywhere else that would be considered stealing.

I still do not think they should be able to shut off the heat in the winter. Give them notice that as of April 1st the will have not gas. I guarantee you it would be paid.
ddee

Belding, MI

#35 Feb 17, 2009
Tell me how? How in America do two little kids die because there is no heat in there home. The heat shouldnt be turned off on any family. Rates for heat should be put in a budget tier. And if a family falls behind don't turn off their heat. I hope the fat ass people at DTE feel guilty for killing two children.
woodsprite53058

Detroit, MI

#36 Feb 17, 2009
Former Greenville Res 64 wrote:
But I do think they should have something that once the company threatens to shut off, some agency to help is contacted to help or negotiate, but it sounds to me these people did not use their brains.
While it is very sad that this family lost those precious children, well gee - I know the poor mother was working when it happened and doing the best she could, but who the heck takes off and leaves two little children who were in their care in a house that is on fire to drive down the block to call 911? Sorry people but take some responsiblity. You got how many people in that house? They had money for the internet, a computer, cigarettes, etc....
Yep. It was all about their priorities. I did not know they had internet and cable. That money should have gone to other necessities. Absolutely.
me in howard city

Dearborn, MI

#37 Feb 17, 2009
Wow I just can't beleive some posts. Does no one realize it wouldn't be free heat it would keep it on through the winter then if you want to cook (gas stove) or use your dryer (gas dryer) or whatever else you may have that runs on gas you would still have to pay in the spring or they will shut it off. So you do have to pay it but you can stay warm in the winter. My husband and I both work we do not qualify for any assistance and don't make enough to pay everything and have been in this situation before not $1500 but a few hundred dollars. When it comes to either heat or having food or a house at all you have to decide which bill to pay. I have set up payment plans before with consumers energy and couldn't pay one of the payments but paid the others they wouldn't give me another payment plan I had to pay a lot of money to keep it on money I didn't have. I'm sure all of you saying not to pass this haven't lost your jobs or fallen on hard times. Well if you ever do you will see the light. Grow up!!!@ children died and it could have been prevented. Other states already have this law and they are all still doing better than Michigan.
woodsprite53058

Detroit, MI

#38 Feb 17, 2009
Larry of Hastings wrote:
Some of you are very cold hearted. Two children died. I am talking about LIFE. Yes the parents should have done alot more.
Nothing cold hear ted about taking responsibility for yourself and your children. They should pay their bills. The mom should be working full time. I did it as a single mom, paid my bills, and yes faced shut offs. But I was NEVER 6 months without paying on my bills. And when it was shut off I have enough sense not to bring a fuel heater into the home.
woodsprite53058

Detroit, MI

#39 Feb 17, 2009
Mis wrote:
It's tragic that two children died. But they didn't die at the hands of DTE. We do not need more government interference in the business sector. If you want a product or service you darn well better pay for said product or service. Now that people know their heat may not be turned off in the winter, guess which bill they're going to neglect? And guess who's rates are going to go up as a result?
Who do you think pulls the utilities strings? The government. They are involved already.
woodsprite53058

Detroit, MI

#40 Feb 17, 2009
Michael wrote:
I challenge our state reps to pass legislation to
prevent this from happening in the future. No shut offs from Sept 1 to April 1. The customer has the spring and summer to pay their bill.
Absolutely, I agree. And if people take advantage of not paying the bill for those few months they will face the consequences come April.
woodsprite53058

Detroit, MI

#41 Feb 17, 2009
Will wrote:
I thought Obama is supposed to be paying for everyone's heat now. What is up with this? Where is my free stuff?
Man, you're ignorant. Keep Obama out of this. That has nothing to do with what is going on here. There is no free shit for you!

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