Consumers Energy industrial gas service worker, Guy Houseman, is a dedicated employee and devoted animal lover. Those two traits recently played a key role in the lifesaving efforts of a 12-year-old beagle.

Responsible for natural gas leak investigations and appliance repairs out of our Howell service center, Houseman was on duty the night of July 3 when he responded to an emergency request to shut off natural gas at the site of a house fire.

When Houseman arrived to the scene, firefighters were battling a fully engulfed fire, believed to have been caused by spent fireworks reigniting in the garage. He immediately went to work to shut off natural gas service and perform routine testing of the home’s gas line.

Having been to the home in the past, he remembered an elderly dog lived there – a beagle, if his memory served. After securing the site, he requested prior service records for the address. Sure enough, Houseman had performed an Appliance Service Plan repair on the home’s service about a year earlier.

Houseman immediately told firefighters a dog lived in the home.

Firefighters sprung into action to search for Pearl, a 12-year-old beagle and long time member of the Stevens family. Luckily, they were able to find her cowering underneath a bed scared but not hurt.


Pearl, a 12-year-old beagle, was found cowering underneath a bed by firefighters.

“When I saw them carrying Pearl out, I teared up. I was so happy she was found safe and sound,” he said.

When homeowner, Claire Stevens, arrived, she too was thrilled Pearl had been safely rescued. She thanked firefighters but hadn’t had the opportunity to meet and thank Houseman until recently.


Homeowner, Claire Stevens, expresses gratitude to Consumers Energy employee, Guy Houseman, for prompting firefighters to save Pearl.

“It was a surreal and horrible to see the damage to the house, but material things can be replaced. Knowing my children were safe and not home when the fire occurred was the most important thing. It was a very lucky coincidence, maybe even divine intervention, that Guy was the person who responded to turn off the gas because firefighters wouldn’t have known Pearl was inside,” Stevens said.

A happy reunion between Stevens, Houseman and Pearl took place recently. Stevens gave Houseman a long hug of thanks.


Claire Stevens sits in front of her fire-damaged home with her dog Pearl and Consumers Energy’s Guy Houseman, who helped ensure Pearl was rescued.

Meanwhile, Pearl soaked up the attention Houseman gave her, almost crawling into his lap at one point and gazing at him with big brown eyes. She seemed to understand she was licking her hero, the man who was instrumental in saving her life that horrible day when she was surrounded by flames.

Learn more about Consumers Energy’s commitment to public safety by visiting our full blog for more Consumers Energy hometown heroes stories.