Red Cross Hero: Firefighters help rebuild living space

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A team of Fresno firefighters are being honored by the American Red Cross as heroes. They  They helped rebuild a living space after a hit and run accident, but unfortunately their hard work didn’t last.

While most firefighters battle hundreds of fires in their careers, the fire that likely destroyed a back living space behind a home on North mariposa near downtown Fresno is a bit more personal for Paul Garnier.  Garnier wasn’t even working when it happened.

“It’s sad that this happened and obviously, it’s not going to be rebuilt because she probably still doesn’t have fire insurance,” said Garnier.

That’s because Garnier helped build it, along with six other firefighters.

In May 2016, he was working when a pick up truck slammed into the detached garage, converted into a living space. The driver took off and the owner had no way of repairing it. 

“She kind of poured her heart out to us, let us know she had no money, no insurance on the house that she owns and she was not going to be able to do anything to rebuild, or repair or secure the property,” Garnier said.

So, the firefighters put their skills together. They got Home Depot to donate lumber and they rebuilt the living space within four and a half hours.

“She was just speechless. She just said thank you 100 times,” said Garnier. “You could just tell by the look on her face — that’s really where the reward was.”

The crew who saved the day, now nominated as Heroes for the American Red Cross. 

“Of course we don’t like to be recognized for what we do on a normal basis. But, it’s an honor to be thought of in that way,” Garnier said.

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