News 3 takes action to help Newport News family struggling without heat

Posted at 10:02 PM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 23:21:59-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Campbell family is new to town, and they've been without heat for the past month.

They moved here from Georgia a few months ago and soon realized it's colder here.

Mother of five Taressa Campbell and her wife said they couldn’t get their heat turned on in the home they rented in Newport News. They said problems started a month ago when the weather started to get colder.

The Campbell family

Campbell said she called Virginia Natural Gas repeatedly and was told several times someone would get back to her, but they never did.

She said their house was very cold.

The kids wore their coats inside, doubled up on socks and the whole family was sleeping in the same room to keep warm.

“We have to keep them bundled up, and now [we're] sleeping pretty much in one room with one space heater,” said Campbell.

Campbell said she was frustrated, so she reached out to News 3.  We contacted Virginia Natural Gas about the issues.

Virginia Natural Gas showed up at the Campbell home with five space heaters on Monday night and got service trucks out to the area to look into the problems. They also issued the following statement that gives some insight into the issue:

Every customer deserves peace of mind that we’ll be there to keep their homes warm, businesses running and families safe. We are looking into the issues at the premise – it is a rental property that has been vacant for more than two years and without gas service or a meter. Crews are currently on-site and working diligently to install a new service to the home as quickly as possible, which is expected to be complete this evening….there is nothing typical about this situation and it is not reflective of our commitment to serve customers with natural gas to heat their homes. Ensuring the safety of every family we serve is our highest priority. We’re continuing to look into the issues at the premise, but in the meantime we are happy that the family is happy and will be safe and warm tonight -  Jennifer Golz, company spokesperson

The family said the gas company offered to put them in a hotel and even pay for their dinner.

They said they are grateful to have the situation being worked on in their new home in Hampton Roads.