In this 2021 photo, Phil Thompson and Kimberley Ellis shop for a fireplace insert for their home with the help of manager Gary Flanagan at Econo Air on Union Avenue.

Her four-sentence warning last week about skyrocketing heating bills got northwest Bakersfield resident Donna England Little quite a bit of notice on social media. Maybe it was the kicker: "Brace yourselves friends!"

Neighbors around the city shared their reactions. Kristin H. wrote she "about had a stroke" when this month's gas bill quintupled to almost $500. Karen C. was glad for the heads-up and announced plans to keep electric blankets and throws on hand.