93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill
BAY CITY, Mich. – 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. . .
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.
Bay City is on Saginaw Bay, just north of the city of Saginaw in central Michigan.
What a sad, sad end to an old man's life, but what really astounds me is the fact that this person "Bay City [electric company] Manager Robert Belleman" could be so cold and callous in touting the company line.
He actually said he didn't think his company did anything wrong and basically blamed the neighbors for not "keep[ing] an eye on" the old man. I'm sure that makes the neighbors who went into Mr. Shur's house and discovered his frozen body feel good. Apparently they noticed frost on the inside of his windows and entered the dwelling. This was only four days after the electric company had installed a "limiter" on Mr. Shur's electric service.
I gotta tell ya, I used to feel nothing but contempt and anger for heartless bastards like this Mr. Robert Belleman from the Bay City Electric Company, but today I feel nothing but sorrow for them in their predicament. They are trapped inside a mind so unconscious of the real world around them that they have lost all compassion for their fellow human beings. People like him don't feel the universal love and compassion for other human beings. They don't relate to every other human being as being just like them. They don't realize the total joy that such feelings give to those of us who do.
So the lesson here is not that people like this manager and companies like Bay City Electric are scum. The lesson is that we as human beings need to nuture our love for our fellow human beings and encourage others to pursue a path that will lead them to such feelings and the freedom and the joy that it provides us on this short trip around planet Earth.