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Family Uses Extreme Warming Measures to get Through Cold
DAYTON -- Imagine living through this winter without heat in your home. That situation is a reality for one Dayton family, who has been going to extremes to stay warm.
"This is unacceptable to me," Lanicia Cunningham said.
Her freezing cold house has been a problem since December.
"It makes me feel like we're in danger but where do we go?" she said.
The problem, Cunningham says, is issues with the aging furnace in the home that her family rents.
"The landlord did come out himself and see what was going on and still hasn't done anything about it," her son Chris added.
Two small children who live in the home are sleeping on an air mattress next to a space heater in the living room to stay warm.
The family had to tape plastic over their windows for insulation.
And in the kitchen, the heating issue has become so unbearable that the family has turned on and opened up the oven to try to heat the other rooms in the house.
The Dayton Fire Department says it's a dangerous practice.
"It certainly presents a burn hazard and it could overheat the oven that could lead to a fire," Assistant Chief Paul Sheehan said.
He says using an oven as a heat source is unsafe, but not uncommon.
"If you have a furnace that's on the verge of going bad, a lot of times a cold snap like this, this is when it's going to break down," said Sheehan.
Despite the issue, Lanicia says she has no choice. "We are surviving, staying warm because of this stove."
She's still waiting for the landlord to fix the heat in the house.
"They know we're under a wind chill warning. They know it's below six degrees here. They know we've got small children in this house," she said, frustrated.
"The bottom line is you want to make sure you get that furnace fixed for that property," Assistant Chief Sheehan said.
The Cunningham's landlord told ABC 22/FOX 45 he will be giving Lanicia's family four space heaters.
He also said he expects to have someone out to Lanicia's house this Friday to fix the furnace.
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