FENWICK, MI. — A Montcalm County couple has been reunited after they contacted problem solvers at FOX17.
Valerie and Chuck Goslin contacted them after Consumers Energy reportedly told them it would take at least four weeks to restore power to two barns on their property that house chickens and goats.
“We don’t quite understand,” said Valery. “All we want is to turn on the electricity so we can heat the animals. We broke through the ice to water the animal, he collected water from the neighbors. It just makes life incredibly difficult, and I don’t think it’s necessary.”
On December 28, the power went out in the barns after the couple’s house caught fire.
They escaped unharmed, but lost everything except the barns. Among the destroyed items are antique furniture and the ashes of Valery’s parents.
This is considered a total loss.
“Everything is fine with us, and, you know, God provides,” said Valery.
Investigators believe a defect in the cordless drill’s battery pack led to the hydrogen leak, heating and explosion.
“I was in the garage a minute before the fire started and I didn’t feel anything, I didn’t see anything,” Chuck said. “I was two feet away from that drill that took the boots off.”
The couple thought power would be restored to their barn shortly after an electrician installed a new electrical box and the county inspector approved it, but when they called Consumers Energy and asked for a crew to turn it on, company officials told them it would be until .
“I get up at five in the morning… [to] start the generator, turn on the lights everywhere, Chuck said. “I go through about 25 gallons of gas every three days and at least 20 to 25 gallons of propane, so that’s $100 or so every three days.”
He added: “They just kept telling me we have a process, you don’t understand we have a process.”
Trying to make the most of the situation, the Goslins became increasingly concerned about the health of their animals without a constant source of food, especially when the temperature dropped below freezing.
They wrote an email to FOX17, which reached out to Consumers Energy on their behalf.
The company declined to be specific about Goslin’s case, but power was restored to their property on Tuesday.
“Consumers Energy is prohibited from publicly discussing customer billing details,” said Josh Pasierek, a spokesman for Consumers Energy. “We are committed to delivering power safely and reliably to our customers 24/7… We are working with them to resolve the situation as quickly as possible so we can deliver the power they need. Because every situation is unique, we help them understand the stages of their process and keep them updated.”
If the couple hopes that the energy they need now has returned, it will help them rebuild the house.
“This [turning the power on] would completely change our lives right now,” Chuck said. “We could pick up our fifth wheel, move with it and not live with neighbors. Our animals would be safe.”
Consumers Energy customers with emergency inquiries can call 1-800-477-5050. For non-emergency requests, Consumers Energy tries to schedule work as soon as possible.
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