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Woman rescued by fire crews, landlords demands payment for damaged door
HARRISON, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- A few weeks ago Teddy Triggs was overwhelmed by what turned out to be a violent infection.
Harrison firefighters responded and undoubtedly saved her life. Perhaps the hardest blow of all though, came after she was home from the hospital.
That's when her landlord handed her a bill for the damage caused by the rescue crews that saved her.
Teddy is an artist, a genealogist and most definitely a survivor. She's lived at the Hillcrest Apartments in Harrison since 2006. While she's beaten five different cancers, July 31 after a biopsy and unaware she had a raging blood infection, Teddy collapsed on the floor of her tiny apartment.
She told Local 12, "I couldn't move. Only thing that moved was my hands. Must have been going in and out of consciousness because it took me. I was down on the floor 18 and a half hours. I didn't get myself over here to the telephone until 8 o'clock the next morning."
Finally managing to call 911, Harrison firefighters quickly responded.
Teddy said, "All I can tell you about them, they had the nicest most polished shoes there ever was and their pants from here down was just pressed they was all just very clean. That's all I could see was their shoes and their pants."
Because the door to Teddy's apartment was locked, the firefighters had to pry it open. When she got out of the hospital a few days later her landlord, Mike Zimmer, presented her with the bill.
Stunned she told Local 12, "It's three hundred and some dollars for the door, $10 for the knob and he charged me a $155 labor. Then at the top it was an envelope and at the top he had the Mayors Fund and St. Vincent De Paul and said, 'We can't call them but you can. Just tell them if you don't have the money you're getting evicted and we're sure you can't make another deposit.'"
Lying on the floor, barely conscious, Teddy said her landlord wanted to know why she didn't call him during the crisis.
He asked her, "And then he said, 'Why didn't you give them the layout of the apartment so they could come in through one of the windows?'" Teddy said.
Local 12 spoke with Mike Zimmer's wife on the phone Wednesday, August 20 and left a message that we wanted to talk with him about the situation with Teddy. One hour later he called the Harrison Fire Chief and told him Teddy could forget about the bill.
Barely able to make it on Social Security that came as good news to a very tough, little lady.
Mike Zimmer told Local 12 on the phone he never really expected Teddy to pay the bill for the door. He said that was why he gave her the numbers for the Mayors Fund and also St. Vincent De Paul.
But that's not the way she understood it or the guys on the fire department. Either way, Zimmer finally decided to be a nice guy. As for damage done when fire crews have to make an emergency entrance to a building, insurance companies usually pay for that. In fact, the Harrison chief said that in all his years, and he's gone through a lot of doors, he's never seen a situation like this one.
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