81-year-old Michigan dad, 55-year-old daughter tried to get furnace fixed week before they were found dead
NILES, Mich. — An 81-year-old father and his 55-year-old daughter were found dead in their bitterly cold home earlier this month and now police are learning the couple had sought help to get their furnace fixed the week before their bodies were discovered.
The South Bend Tribune reports a concerned neighbor called police and asked for a welfare check on the pair.
Albert Bivins, 81, and his daughter, Patricia Bivins, 55, were found inside their Niles, Mich., home, where the temperature was well below 32 degrees after a difficult two-week stretch of single digit and sub-zero temperatures.
The nonprofit doesn’t provide money for furnace repairs, said Greg Nasstrom, director of Ferry Street Resource Center in Niles to SBT.
Nasstrom says staff referred them to a program through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that can provide money to qualified applicants for needs such as furnace repair, but assistance through the program can take time.
Click here to read more about the process.
“There is no quick fix that I’m aware of for anyone who needs a furnace,” said Sandra Klank, weatherization and housing manager with the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency in Benton Harbor to SBT. “It’s hard for the people, it really is.”
“If we had a homeless shelter here we could have at least given them somewhere to stay,” said Nasstrom to the SBT.