Henrico veteran – who lived inside tent – cuts ribbon on his newly renovated home

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- With a huge smile on his face and gratitude in his heart, Walter Flanagan happily cut a ribbon and opened the doors to show off his newly restored home.

Last Month, CBS 6 Problem Solvers told the story of the 73-year-old veteran who sleeping in a tent outside his West End home after a house fire.

The fire damaged the kitchen and left the home unlivable. So, Flanagan began sleeping in a tent he pitched outside on the property.

“It’s just amazing what’s happened since then,” Flanagan said Monday afternoon.

The local company, ServePro stepped in to help by donating their services and putting out the call to other contractors to help finish the job.

The response to help Flanagan was overwhelming. Companies and volunteers eagerly pitched in almost daily for the past few weeks to restore Flanagan’s home.

“They help with the cleaning and the painting. Some made contributions anonymously. It gives you faith in humanity again,” said the Vietnam veteran.

Now, Flanagan has a completely restored kitchen with cabinets full of food, shiny new appliances, and updated electrical systems.

The rest of his home, now cleared out, is warm and livable again.

“What they’ve done in this house is like a complete total renovation,” said Flanagan. “I never even dreamed of having a granite countertop… You just look around and say wow, I don’t believe this happened.”

Drew Bahen of ServePro helped every step of the way to make Flanagan’s home new again.

“It was amazing, we had 20 or 30 companies step up and help out. That was the only way really to get this done in this amount of time,” he added.

“There is so much negativity in the world, so to have a positive story like this. It’s uplifting,” said John Butler, a supervisor with the building inspections department.

Flanagan said the generosity will long be remembered and he intended to pay it forward.

Flanagan said he can’t thank donors enough for helping him return to a newly renovated home that’s warm and safe. The following companies/volunteers helped to re-do Flanagan’s home:

ABC Supply
Allstate Electric
Artistic Stone/Thomas Somerville Plumbing Supply
Ben Andrews Plumbing
Capital One
Capital Waste Services
Chaz Pfrang
Derbyshire Baptist Church
ERS
EZ Box
Garrett Hagood
Henrico County
Hungerford Heating & Air
Noah Butler
Noah Taylor
Professional Firefighters Chimney Sweep
Radford Interiors
SERVPRO of Chesterfield
Shady Grove Methodist Church
Sherwin Williams
United Roofing
Village Flooring

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