When carbon monoxide (CO) alarms rang out in their home in late March, The Scott family knew exactly what to do: get their children out of the home, call 911 and the DTE.
They also knew that it was their responsibility to protect the DTE Gas crews who responded to investigate the cause of the alarms. Mrs. Scott, a medical professional, had recently tested positive for COVID-19. She, along with her husband and young children were in quarantine.
“When she told us, I was in shock,” said Ty Turner, gas operations manager. “At that point, there wasn’t much we could do other than turn off the gas from outside, so that they wouldn’t be breathing in carbon monoxide.”
As part of our company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans were in place to handle such situations. However, the necessary personal protective gear required to ensure our employees’ safety had not yet arrived.
“With all of the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understood,” Mrs. Scott said. “Ty promised that he wouldn’t leave us hanging and he was a man of his word. He came back with a really nice electric heater, an electric skillet and an electric kettle so we could boil water.”
The Scotts made the setup work overnight while DTE crews awaited the proper equipment, but when temperatures dropped the next night, the family reached out to Turner again.
“He was here within 30 minutes with another heater and called to check on us two to three times a day,” Mrs. Scott said. “He was there for us every step of the way, going above and beyond.”
Turner, a husband and father himself, felt it was his duty to look after the family.
“In my 26 years of working here, I’d never left anyone without natural gas service,” Turner said. “I felt like I had to check in on them. I had to keep my word when I said we wouldn’t abandon them.”
Four days after the initial call, the safety gear – hazmat suits, respirators, protective eyewear and nitrile gloves –arrived.
Turner, along with Derrick Williams and Maurice Davenport from the Allen Road Service Center, returned to the Scott home ready to restore natural gas service. The Scotts left the home while crews wiped down and sanitized surfaces inside and went to work. Turns out, an issue with the hot water tank was the cause of the CO alarms.
“They got the furnace going so we’d have heat, but couldn’t fix the water heater,” Mrs. Scott said. “We figured we’d have to call a company to come out and repair it later, but Ty was able to arrange it for us.
“They were super selfless. We’ll never forget that.”
The Scott family says they’re well on their way to making a full recovery.
Derrick Williams in black on a previous job Maurice Davenport on a previous job