Stranger pays for Everett man’s heat as winter weather approaches

Tim Otness has lived for weeks with a broken furnace. Now, help is coming to him and the others.

EVERETT, Wash. — For Tim Otness, the holidays come early and the only thing he wants this year is a warm home.

“I’m not asking for help,” he said. “I just not.”

He didn’t ask, but someone answered anyway.

KING 5 met Otness two weeks ago when the temperature dropped below 30 degrees Celsius. His heater broke and he couldn’t afford to fix it.

The 72-year-old disabled man is keeping warm with a small heater, a leather jacket and piles of blankets.

When an anonymous viewer watched his story on KING 5, she paid to fix his fireplace — about $700.

“Wow, it’s really overwhelming,” says Otness, who has limited mobility due to a hip injury. “I don’t even know how to react to it.”

After we first told his story, more than a dozen people and businesses reached out to KING 5 in the hope of helping.

All those good intentions are now being put to good use.

“People want to help. They just don’t know how,” says Cynthia Andrews of Homage Senior Services. “When you’re talking about heating people’s homes, in some cases it’s really a matter of life and death.”

Homage does minor repairs to low-income seniors in Snohomish County.

Due to rising equipment costs, the agency now has 24 people on a waiting list for heating and hot water. More requests are coming in all the time.

Homage has set up a Hearts for Heat fundraising campaign, and with Tim telling his story, that list narrows down.

“We see a need and we know how important it is to keep people warm as temperatures are dropping again and this winter is likely to be even worse,” Andrews said.

Fourth, Otness’s fireplace was fixed by the folks at Kings Heating and Air Conditioning.

Technician Josh Pollard also gave him a $300 Safeway gift card.

Tim can’t help but think back to his decades as a contractor and how he often helps low-income people for free. He calls his luck “karma”.

“For a long time, I didn’t think it existed, but you know, it does and it comes when you don’t expect it,” Otness said.

This Thanksgiving, karma comes in the form of a furnace and a warm-hearted stranger known only as “Mary from Olympia.”

“I really can’t think of anything else to say but thank God. You really have made my life better,” Otness said.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/everett-man-story-helps-warm-homes/281-a4dfe4e8-e161-44dc-9df4-13b4d6b7e80c Stranger pays for Everett man’s heat as winter weather approaches

Edmund DeMarche

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