LAKE ORION, Mich. (WJBK) - A Lake Orion woman who got behind on bills after losing her job was forced to burn her furniture to stay warm this winter.
Kathleen Fodera lost gas in March and in August she lost her electricity. Because she’s on a well, and losing her electricity also meant losing her water. She uses her fireplace to make her food.
She tells Fox 2 it all began with car trouble. After that, she lost her job - and then the bills got really behind.
"I wouldn't have been able to make it all winter with this cold," Fodera said, adding that she was down to her last piece of firewood to burn the day after Christmas.
"I already burned my jewelry box, I was headed for some decorative type things," she said, burning anything she could find to stay warm.
Fodera kept her condition secret for months because she said she didn’t want to be an imposition.
It wasn’t until Valerie, one of Kathleen’s neighbors, stopped by and she invited her guest in, that Valerie realized Kathleen had been living in a cold and dark house.
The neighbor posted her story on Facebook on Christmas Eve and the response was tremendous from the Lake Orion Community.
Travis Wilson, Lisa Arnett, and Kim Dunn spoke with Fox 2 Wednesday night about the help they’ve been providing.
"I jumped in the car with whatever wood I had in the backyard and came over and introduced myself," Wilson said. "I said this isn't the end of me, you will see me again."
Travis and Valerie set up a GoFundMe account for Kathleen. So far, $500 dollars have been donated to help Kathleen get her lights back and restore her gas and water. There have also been donations of firewood, water, candles and food. CLICK HERE to donate.
The group is also working on helping her get a job, a car and whatever else she needs to get back on her feet.
"Heroes, real heroes," Fedora said. "Walking, talking angels. Heroes."