Business, officer get Shelby Township resident’s furnace working again

By: Mike Koury | Shelby - Utica News | Published January 15, 2018

 Mike Hinton, seen here in a photo posted to the Shelby Township Police Department Facebook page, and Officer Paul Sorbo helped an elderly resident get his furnace working after the resident’s home tumbled to 36 degrees inside.

Mike Hinton, seen here in a photo posted to the Shelby Township Police Department Facebook page, and Officer Paul Sorbo helped an elderly resident get his furnace working after the resident’s home tumbled to 36 degrees inside.

Photo provided by the Shelby Township Police Department

 Paul Sorbo

Paul Sorbo

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A police officer and the owner of a heating and cooling business heard the call for help from an elderly Shelby Township resident with a broken furnace.

Shelby Township police received the call at about 9:10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6. A resident told a dispatcher that the furnace was out and wouldn’t relight at the resident’s home in the area of 21 Mile and Shelby roads.

Officer Paul Sorbo responded to the home, which he said was so cold that you could see your breath inside it. The resident’s thermostat showed the temperature was 36 degrees.

“The biggest concern was either trying to get him some type of heat in his house, and if we couldn’t, maybe try and find him some place to stay,” Sorbo said.

Sorbo decided to call a nearby business, Mike’s Heating & Cooling, to see if it could send someone out. At first, Sorbo said, the business told him it might take an hour to get someone to the home, as they were busy with similar problems at other homes, but then he got a call right back saying the owner, Mike Hinton, would come out himself.

“When Mike got done, he looked at the furnace in the house, and he determined it needed a part,” Sorbo said. “He said he wasn’t sure if he had the part in his truck or if he had to go back to the shop. He ended up having to go back to the shop and grab the part.”

Sorbo said that when Hinton came back, he put the part in and got the furnace working again. When the two were walking back, Hinton asked if the guy was able to pay. Sorbo told him it didn’t seem like it, but offered to cover the cost himself.

It was an offer that Hinton declined.

“He said no,” Sorbo said. “I said, ‘It was super nice of you to donate your time, but I at least want to pay for the part, because I don’t want you to be out that money.’ And he said, ‘No, no, it’s my good deed for the day.’”

Sorbo was appreciative of Hinton’s generosity and asked a detective to make a Facebook post to at least highlight his kindness, which garnered significant attention.

“He didn’t have to do any of that. He didn’t have to go out of his way and do any of that stuff,” Sorbo said.

Knowing his officer wouldn’t want to garner any attention himself for his actions, Police Chief Robert Shelide said his colleague of three years, Sorbo, is a “true hero” and was not surprised about his extra effort to help the resident.

“He’s probably my best officer I have on my staff,” Shelide said. “The most hardworking, diligent guy.”

“Everything this guy’s done, he’s a first-class, outstanding young man. He’s like an all-American hero, is what he is. So when I heard about this story, this goes into everything about his character of who he is. He’s a very bashful, humble guy.”

Mike’s Heating & Cooling could not be reached for comment.