Firefighter Pays $1,000 Bill For Family Whose Electricity Was Cut Off

“This might sound corny, but we are here to help.”

One family was rescued by a firefighter in a completely unexpected way.

Firefighters from the Clinton Township Department of Fire-Rescue-EMS in Michigan responded to non-emergency medical call earlier this month and discovered that the household didn't have electricity, according to a statement from Fire Chief Michael C. Phy.

Ryan McCuen, the firefighter responsible for the act of compassion.
Ryan McCuen, the firefighter responsible for the act of compassion.
Clinton Township Fire-Rescue-EMS

The parents, who have two children with disabilities, including one who uses a ventilator full-time, had fallen behind on payments. So one of the firefighters, 35-year-old Ryan McCuen, decided to cover the family's entire $1,023.75 electric bill.

“This might sound corny, but we are here to help,” McCuen told Macomb Daily, explaining his generous actions. “There’s a lot of people who do good work: Firemen, cops, teachers, and they don’t get any recognition, so I wasn’t seeking any, I’m just trying to give back.”

According to the statement from Phy, the family needed to pay off their rent before getting to their electric bills. Though they had submitted paperwork from a doctor to the electric company DTE Energy to avoid getting their electricity shut off, they ran into complications.

"Apparently, they had attempted to submit paperwork to prevent the electricity from being shut off, however, it was not properly filled out, or sent to the wrong department, so DTE had no choice but to disconnect their power," Phy said in the statement.

With the electricity off, the child who uses a ventilator needed to be transported to the hospital. McCuen not only covered their bill, he also called the electric company to explain the family's situation.

"The customer service rep at DTE, who was very sympathetic to the situation ... assured that the restoration of the power would be given the highest priority." Phy said.

Though the firefighter performed the kind act anonymously, Phy wanted to recognize McCuen's generosity, and alerted township officials of the firefighter's good deed, the Macomb Daily wrote. McCuen also received praise from the family he helped, who gave him baked goods, a balloon and fruit.

With all the applause the firefighter's been getting, McCuen only hopes that others will feel compelled to pay the compassion forward, he told Macomb Daily.

“I didn’t think of it as an extraordinary act -- but I hope it inspires other people to do something similar.”