In the middle of the worst snowstorm Rhode Island has seen in years, Shirl Gerlach’s boiler went out, leaving her without heat. Gerlach was in tears, desperately trying to find someone to help her. "I started making phone calls to try to get help and get somebody in here,” she recalls. “But the blizzard was raging and nobody would come to help me.”
One of those calls went to Jimmy Kazounis, owner of Barrington Plumbing and Heating. Kazounis and his wife, Chase, were at home, riding out the blizzard when the call came in. Chase put on the pressure for her husband to help Gerlach. I told her my truck couldn't even get out of the garage with the snow drift up to about 7 feet at that point. "She was kind of egging me," Kazounis recalls, "’Come on, we can walk, you only need a few tools that we can carry’ And I was like, I knew in my head I was gonna go, because I always go." My big concern was parts so I grabbed a few I thought I might need but the odds were against us. Chances were that we were about to take a 2 mile stroll in 50 mph winds at 0 degrees for no reason".
When they made it to Gerlach’s house, she could hardly believe it. "Angels coming here to rescue us," Gerlach says. Miraculously, Jimmy did have the correct parts needed to fix Gerlach’s boiler. And when he was done, Kazounis refused to take any extra pay for the job, simply asking Gerlach to pay it forward. "In a storm like that, to have somebody walk to me and do that was really remarkable,” she says. “Of course I will pay that forward.”