ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando firefighters spent their Sunday helping an elderly couple fix their home with a leaky roof.
- Orlando firefighters spend Sunday helping elderly couple fix roof
- Firefighters spotted homeowner struggling to carry plywood
- Couple's home was damaged during Hurricane Irma
The firefighters discovered the couple in need on Saturday when the Orlando Fire Department along with the American Red Cross went door-to-door installing free smoke alarms in the Carver Shores neighborhood.
While in the neighborhood, firefighters spotted an elderly man stuggling to lift plywood. The man told the firefighters that his home had suffered damage during Hurricane Irma, causing leaks in his roof.
Officials said the homeowner, Bob Thomas, and his wife live in the home and every time it rains, water bleeds through the tarp. They said each weekend, the couple with limited mobility, attempts to place plywood on the roof.
Orlando Firefighter Felix Marquez organized eight firefighters to help fix the couple's roof. They used $3,000 of their own money to buy multiple sheets of plywood and rent equipment from a home improvement store.
"I am very grateful to my brothers and sisters of OFD," Marquez said. "I would do whatever I can for these guys and they know that. One text message went out and I had all of these guys show up."
They began around 9 a.m., removing water damaged sections of the roof and replace it with new plywood.
"We are extremely proud of these firefighters to take it upon themselves to help out one of our residents," Orlando Fire Chief Roderick Williams said.
Thomas said he has been dealing with this for 11 months and had tried to use a chained lift to bring the plywood up to the roof but it was a slow and tedious process.
"I've been struggling, but it looks good right now," Thomas said. "God is good, and these guys especially are doing the physical aspect of it and I appreciate it."
Officials also said many of the rooms inside his home now have what appears to be mold on the ceiling due to continual rainfall.
"The hope is that someone sees this story and pays it forward. There are many opportunities for people to help one another and we hope that acts like these will remind people the importance of helping neighbors in need and maybe others will join in," Marquez said.