Man with clothes frozen to skin hospitalized
By JOE GORMAN
Police say a West Side man living in a North Hazelwood Avenue home with no heat had a case of frostbite so bad his clothes were frozen to his skin.
The 51-year-old was being treated for frostbite in the emergency room at ValleyCare Northside Medical Center when police were notified about 6:40 p.m. Sunday. The man’s wife and daughter also were checked for frostbite Sunday evening, and housing officers deemed the house unlivable Monday for a lack of heat.
A spokeswoman for the city said all three were still being treated at Northside as of early Tuesday afternoon. She said officials are having a hard time getting any information from the family, and also are trying to find out who owns the home so the city can inform the owner that it has been determined not habitable and that repairs are needed.
At the hospital, the man told police that his home had been without heat for some time because the gas was turned off. He said his 58-year-old wife and 22-year-old daughter were both staying there.
Officers at the hospital contacted a supervisor, who told them to check on the man’s family and the living conditions, reports said.
At the home, police spoke to the man’s wife, who allowed them inside. Reports said there was no furniture on the first floor. There was a small space heater in a first-floor bedroom, but it was still cold inside. Inside the room was a gun cabinet, six cushions and a home entertainment system.
There was no running water in the house because the pipes burst, but there was electricity, reports said. Both women also were taken to Northside to be checked for frostbite.
Reports said the woman asked police to take her husband’s eight rifles because she was afraid they would be stolen if no one was at the home. Police also told her she could not stay in a house with no heat or running water.
Police took the rifles for safekeeping, reports said.
City records show the water to the home was turned off Jan. 10.
The police department’s Family Investigative Unit also is looking into the case.