A Moosup man without heat for two weeks got help thanks the community
PLAINFIELD – A confluence of events that month, including a phone call to a local real estate agent and keen observation of a sanitary truck, helped warm a cold man from Plainfield again.
On February 15, Christine Lagerstrom-Johnson, a listing and buying agent for the ReMax Home Team in Uncasville, received a call from a 76-year-old man who asked if she could put his Moosup maisonette up for sale.
“When I showed up, he was wearing a winter coat and hat and it was freezing in the apartment,” said Lagerstrom-Johnson. “He told me he hadn’t had any heat in 15 days – he thought a pipe might have burst – and called several companies but they were all too busy to get out. I asked him if he would mind if I make a call on social media while leaving out his name to see if anyone can help. “
Shortly after a call from Lagerstrom-Johnson, Voluntown-based Marc Ledoux Sr., a regional manager for the TransAxle company, made his way to the cold residence.
“I had some tools with me and thought it might be as simple as the pipes that need to be vented,” he said. “As I was driving, I saw a van in the parking lot of a supermarket. I thought ‘what the hell’ and waited for the driver to come out of the store. I asked him what he did for a living and he said he was a plumber. I told him it might sound stupid, but asked if he would take me around the corner to this house. And he did. “
That driver, Derek Stone, a plumber from Fixitnow Services, went to a very cold home with Ledoux.
“It was about 20 degrees that day, very cold in the house, and the resident had the stove open for warmth,” said Stone. “About six feet of pipe was frozen near the baseboard in the living room. The resident had a new circulation pump that had not yet been installed. “
After about two hours of work, including replacing the pipes, adding the circulator, and igniting the kettle, Stone and Ledoux were able to let the heat hum on one side of the duplex where the man lived. As the couple prepared to leave the resident, they tried to pay for the work but were waved off.
“I told him I was done,” said Stone.
Meanwhile, Lagerstrom-Johnson’s original social media post received more than 2 million hits.
“People volunteered to donate money for heating oil and others plowed and shoveled the man’s driveway,” she said. “The Music Lady Café brought food – everything just escalated and people are still helping.”
Ledoux said he was not surprised at the outpouring of charity.
“These little towns here, like Voluntown, Sterling and Moosup, are not like a town like Norwich – some of those places don’t have traffic lights,” he said. “But we have volunteer fire departments and we all know each other. And if we don’t know you, we don’t care when it comes to helping. We do that. “