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Woman Finally Freed From Icy Trap Surrounding Her Home

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CHICAGO (CBS) — River Bully has been freed from her home after being trapped inside for weeks, surrounded by a massive amount of ice.

A broken water pipe next door resulted in the ice that was so thick that it sealed her back door shut.

Because Bully is elderly and disabled, she is only able to use the back door of her home because the steps to her front door are too steep.

A crew with a company called Roof To Deck, which specializes in clearing ice, arrived at Bully’s home cut away several inches of ice using pressurized steam and ice melt.

The company learned about Bully’s plight after seeing a news report on CBS 2.

The City of Chicago’s water department first came to the home in early January, but nothing happened to resolve the problem. At the time, an inspector told Bully that the water would be turned off next door, but the leak kept flowing during sub-zero temperatures.

Last week, CBS 2 alerted Ald. Pat Dowell, who called out another water department inspector. The city then determined that squatters were living next door and immediately shut off the water.

But that still left the matter of clearing the ice, and that’s when Roof to Deck stepped in to assist.

Bull has lived in her Fuller Park home since 1950. For weeks, she had been a prisoner.

She called 311, and a worker with the Chicago Water Department responded, but it didn’t bring results.

“The water man did come out here on the eighth of January and went out into the street and said they would shut the water off,” Bully said. “Evidently, they didn’t cut it off.”

Last week, Dowell agreed to ride with CBS 2 to the home and called the water department on the way.

The building’s owner will get a bill for any repairs.

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