Pittsburg County Gas Customers Without Service

Thursday, April 26th 2007, 11:20 am
By: News On 6

Two-hundred and fifty homes in Pittsburg County have now been without gas for more than a week. Customers of the Public Gas Company had their service cut off on April 16, after the head of the company failed to pay his suppliers. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says it has never encountered a scenario like this before. The head of the Public Gas Company has disappeared, and the News On 6’s Chris Wright reports its customers are still without service.

Debbie Compton was surprised to find her gas heater not functioning last Wednesday. After all, it had been working fine, and she had paid all of her bills on time.

"We woke up one morning and there was no gas, and we wondered why," said Debbie Compton.

It turns out, the Comptons, as well as their neighbors, had done nothing wrong. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says the owner of Public Gas Company, Sammy Germany, did not pay his suppliers. The suppliers in turn were forced to cut off gas service for 250 homes. That was over a week ago, and now no one is sure where Germany is, or when the gas will be turned back on.

It’s been a long week for the Comptons. They say perhaps the most difficult part of the entire experience so far is having to boil water just to take baths and do dishes.

"It's getting more frustrating daily, I'm getting tired of dancing around in cold showers," said Ron Compton.

Things have gotten so bad that the Stipe Center in nearby McAlester is now offering free hot showers for those tired of cold ones. Unfortunately, Public Gas Company customers might have to use them for a while. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says there are negotiations underway to get the gas back, but as of Thursday, there are no done deals. So, for the foreseeable future, the Comptons will heat their water, while their anger at Public Gas continues to boil over.

"We're the ones having to live with the mistakes that this guy is making," said Ron Compton.

The Comptons, who braved this winter's ice storm, say this past week has been worse than that experience. The Corporation Commission has also fined the owner of Public Gas Company $130,000, but says he has not paid those fines.

Watch the video: Gas Company President's Failure To Pay Bills Leaves Customers Without Service