How the hell can this happen in the United States in this day and age? I am disgusted. This man survived a war, fought for his country and dies a miserable death alone in his frozen home. Sorry folks, this is unacceptable. My husband said there is a saying in the military, "you give so much and get so little"..Well this sure seems to be a testimony to that. What happened to neighbors checking in on the elderly and infirm? This man had noone. He died frozen and alone in the United States of America. I wonder if the utitlity company CEO sleeps well at night in his nice toasty warm home.
Jan 27, 2009 12:15 pm US/Eastern
Man, 93, Freezes To Death; Owed Huge Utility Bill
Medical Examiner: Marvin E. Schur Suffered 'Slow, Painful Death'BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) ―
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Officials in Bay City, Mich., said a 93-year-old World War II Vet froze to death inside of his home where the local power company had restricted his use of electricity. He was found on Jan. 17, 2009.
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A 93-year-old man froze to death inside his home just days after the municipal power company restricted his use of electricity because of unpaid bills, officials said.
Marvin E. Schur died "a slow, painful death," said Kanu Virani, Oakland County's deputy chief medical examiner, who performed the autopsy.
Neighbors discovered Schur's body on Jan. 17. They said the indoor temperature was below 32 degrees at the time, The Bay City Times reported Monday.
"Hypothermia shuts the whole system down, slowly," Virani said. "It's not easy to die from hypothermia without first realizing your fingers and toes feel like they're burning."
Schur owed Bay City Electric Light & Power more than $1,000 in unpaid electric bills, Bay City Manager Robert Belleman told The Associated Press on Monday.
A city utility worker had installed a "limiter" device to restrict the use of electricity at Schur's home on Jan. 13, Belleman said. The device limits power reaching a home and blows out like a fuse if consumption rises past a set level. Power is not restored until the device is reset.
The limiter was tripped sometime between the time of installation and the discovery of Schur's body, Belleman said. He didn't know if anyone had made personal contact with Schur to explain how the device works.
Schur's body was discovered by neighbor George Pauwels Jr.
"His furnace was not running, the insides of his windows were full of ice the morning we found him," Pauwels told the newspaper.
Belleman said city workers keep the limiter on houses for 10 days, then shut off power entirely if the homeowner hasn't paid utility bills or arranged to do so.
He said Bay City Electric Light & Power's policies will be reviewed, but he didn't believe the city did anything wrong.
"I've said this before and some of my colleagues have said this: Neighbors need to keep an eye on neighbors," Belleman said. "When they think there's something wrong, they should contact the appropriate agency or city department."
Schur had no children and his wife had died several years ago.