Dec 10, 2009 1:46 AM by Nicole Vandeputte

Family braves freeze in a home with no heat

Imagine losing your heat in the middle of this sub-zero cold?

A family on the eastern plains braved, not only the cold, but strong winds without any heat in their home. They live in Elbert. That's about 25 miles northeast of Colorado Springs. The Crowell family wants their misery to be your warning.

Will Crowell says "You could see your breath in the house. It got to 30 below with the wind chill." At the start of that unbearable cold on the eastern plains, Crowell's home in  ran out of propane.

To cope he says, "We got out the space heaters, and we put them all in the bedroom. The girls, my wife and daughter, went into the bedroom and that's where they spent the day."

They've gone the last 2 days without heat, or hot water. Crowell says he finally sent his wife and daughter to a hotel in Colorado Springs, but he had to stay. He says he had to care for the horses, and keep the pipes from freezing. He bundled up in clothes, sat in front of a space heater, and made food in a camping stove.

He says their propane company couldn't get out there to help them, so they called AmeriGas in Colorado Springs. Jerry Hecht, an AmeriGas representative, came out as soon as he could and filled the tank. "We've actually been very busy since it got really cold. All of our drivers are out running, working some overtime," says Hecht.

He says a lot of the families they service are "will call." That means they will call when the tank is running low. Hecht says they don't realize how much faster the propane burns when it freezes. Crowell says that's exactly what happened to his family.

Hecht says your tank should always be 40% full. If it gets below that, you could be in trouble. He says the propane trucks can be dangerous on the roads in a snow storm.

Crowell finally has heat. He says, "It feels great. It feels great. It's nice. It feels like home again." A lesson learned the hard way.


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