GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Power outages combined with a brutal cold snap have sent lots of people searching for a warm place to stay, away from home.
Grand Rapids West Siders William Cole and Bonnie Davis are not among them.
“At least we got a roof over our head in the house and we’re not in the wind. And we’ve got a fire going. I think it’s fairly comfortable,” Cole said Friday night.
The couple hunkered down in their Hillcrest Avenue NW home using a roaring fire to keep themselves and their pup warm. They played cards and watched “All in the Family” re-runs on their cellphones for entertainment.
They say that with their elderly dog, they don’t feel comfortable staying with friends or family.
“We wanna keep some heat going in here. I don’t want my pipes to freeze,” Cole added.
They have gave up their bed to be closer to the fireplace.
“Yeah, we slept by the fire,” Davis said. ”It’s like camping, indoor camping.”
But it gets old quick.
“It’s fun for about 15 minutes,” Cole said laughing. “It’s very annoying and can be very stressful, too, just trying to do things in the dark.”
While this couple is doing it right, officials worry about those who don’t.
“We’re gonna be seeing people using alternative heating methods to try and stay warm. I can tell you we’ve had a couple significant fire incidents as a result of that,” Grand Rapids Fire Chief John Lehmen said Friday.
Unsafe methods include:
- Using propane heaters or charcoal indoors
- Using misplaced space heaters
- Using the stove or oven to heat a room, causing a toxic buildup of carbon monoxide
Like everyone else, William and Bonnie are ready for life to return to normal.
“It’s not quite like camping. I guess it would be, but I don’t know. It’d be better just to have the lights on, Cole said.
Consumers Energy says power should be restored to the majority of customers by late Sunday night, weather permitting. However, some of the hardest-hit areas might not have service restored until the end of the day on Monday.