It’s been almost a year since Hurricane Irma slammed Florida and Bob Thomas was still trying to patch the holes it left in his Orlando roof. When firefighter Felix Marquez was in going door to door in the neighborhood to pass out and install smoke detectors, he saw Thomas and his wife working on the repair and was moved to help them.
The home had tarps and plywood covering the roof damage, which still let in water and that caused mold and more damage inside. “It broke my heart,” Marquez says. “When I left, I went back to the station and started texting fellow brothers and firefighters.”
And they came through to get the job done. Marquez estimates he and other firefighters spent nearly $3,000 of their own money buying plywood and renting tools to fix the roof. They worked on their day off, replacing the old plywood and covering it with a tarp to stop leaks. Marquez says it’s a good first step, adding “My reward is to see this man being so happy about him sleeping tonight without it raining in his house.”