Good Samaritan jumps in to help 81-year-old KC woman living without heat

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The past four days have been tough for 81-year-old Dorothy Kirby.

On Friday, her furnace suddenly stopped working and left the great-grandma shivering in her cold, two-story house.

"I can tolerate the cold, and that's all. It's just been miserable. I've had to put on extra blankets and extra covers at night," Kirby said.

She had to wear her long, thick robe, pajama pants and sweatshirt around the clock while inside her home in Kansas City.

"I've never had to live like this. When I was working as an health insurance claims rep, I was so independent and I really could take care of myself. But now that I've aged, it's really been hard," Kirby said.

Kirby's tried to stay warm by keeping a space heater in her bedroom cranking constantly. She's also sat in her kitchen with her gas stove on nonstop. Sure, she knows that's a safety hazard, but the cold grandma felt helpless.

"I tired turning off the stove at night, but the house got so cold so fast. I had to get up and turn it back on. I've also called so many organizations in Kansas City, but no one can help me," a disheartened Kirby said.

She paid a guy $89 to check our her furnace. He told her replacing a bad motor and fixing the problem would cost more than $1,000.

"I get social security. I live on a fixed income, and I just can't afford to pay something like that. I need help," the great-grandma said.

By late Monday afternoon, she got a surprised knock at her front door.

"Hi my name is Scotty. FOX4 told me that your furnace is acting up, and you could use my help," said Scotty Baird, the owner of Baird Heating and Cooling in the Northland.

Baird and his assistant didn't hesitate to immediately help Kirby. Baird paid more than $400 to buy a new motor for Kirby's furnace and installed it.

In no time, Kirby's heat was back on.

"It makes me feel good to be able to help people like that. Any time I can help the community, I'm all about it," Baird said.

"Oh boy, you bet I am happy now. It's feeling warmer in here  already. Thank you," Kirby said.

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