Family braves propane shortage using kerosene, space heater

Propane Gauge

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – If you drive, then you know the pain of seeing gas prices hop 40 cents a gallon. For propane users; that same pain at the pump feeling is sticking around, only as a pinch at the tank.

“Some people cannot afford $1000 just get them through six weeks,” said Jennifer Wenchell. Wenchell and family have used propane to heat their home for years; the recent shortage kept the family from filling up.

When the Wenchell family found out about the propane shortage, it was too late and prices had already spiked; and help was weeks away. “I just couldn’t imagine we’d be without power with temps below zero,” said Winchell.

“”We were actually out of gas, and I called and usually it’s about $2 a gallon this time of the year and when I called it was over $5,” she said.

Winchell explained her family, while waiting for a propane distributor, used blankets, kerosene heaters, and space heaters to stay warm. But even the impromptu heating methods proved to be problematic.

“It’s a big deal because I have 3 children in my house. We had a space heater catch fire while we had no heat,” said Winchell. Aside from the danger of the alternative methods, Winchell figured the cost of keeping warm wasn’t cheap either; estimating that it took around $1,200 to heat her home for just two weeks.

“They need to be better prepared, because it’s not a good time. This isn’t gasoline for your car where you don’t have to drive. You have to heat your house.”
Hoping someone from on top will realize what this strain is costing the home owners. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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