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WELCOME HOME: VOLUNTEERS REBUILD VETERAN’S HOUSE DESTROYED IN FIRE
Ace Beam’s wiry hands wave his cane to direct the crowd of people gathered at his North Carolina home. More than 40 Team Depot volunteers are helping repair his house that was destroyed in a fire.
“This house has nine lives,” Ace says with a wink.
In March 2015, the house caught fire while the U.S. Marine veteran was home. He attempted to extinguish it himself, which landed him in the hospital with burns and smoke inhalation. Flames gutted the house, and without insurance, Ace couldn’t afford the repairs.
The city planned to bulldoze it at his expense if he didn’t come up with a plan.
“They planned to level the house three or four times, but every time something happened that saved it,” he said. “We both cheated death.”
The local newspaper published Ace’s plea to save his home and the community responded. Several anonymous donors came forward with money for the repairs, a contractor donated his time and labor, and The Home Depot Foundation committed $30,000 and Team Depot volunteers to the project.
“Everything is pretty much new from the foundation up,” says Team Depot volunteer Lori Pearson. “Today we’re helping to clear out his backyard and lay a brick paver patio that Ace has been wanting for several years.”
"This is mine, this is my place, my home. It means more now to me than it ever did,” Ace smiles.
“There’s an old saying, ‘I’ll get by with a little help from my friends’, and I got a little help from all these friends here today."
Hear more of Ace’s story: