Austin firefighters take time to help elderly man fix his roof

Austin firefighters eating lunch after helping Jesse and Joyce Lagunas fix their roof on Dec. 1, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bynum)
Austin firefighters eating lunch after helping Jesse and Joyce Lagunas fix their roof on Dec. 1, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bynum)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — When 82-year-old Jesse Lagunas and his wife Joyce, 63, decided they needed some roofing work done on their shed, the estimates came back too costly.

Instead, Jesse decided to do the work himself. Before getting up on the roof though, Jesse purchased a safety harness but he wasn’t able to figure out how to use it. The couple went to the fire station near their south Austin home for help.

Austin firefighters Daryl Burns was in the office writing his morning report when he overheard Jesse’s conversation with a couple of the other firefighters about how to use a harness.

Roof on the shed that needed work, which the firefighters fixed. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bynum)
Roof on the shed that needed work, which the firefighters fixed. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bynum)

“Sean was trying to put the harness on himself and come to find out Jesse was trying to get on the roof to work on his shed,” said Burns. “[I thought] I don’t know if that’s the best idea.”

That’s when another firefighter offered to come by after his shift ended and help fix the roof for the couple. “I said that’s an outstanding idea, why don’t we make that happen,” said Burns. And that’s what four firefighters did. They made it happen.

“They said, you go and start on it, and when we get off, we’ll help you come and finish it,” said a chuckling Jesse. “I thought, wow, we’re afraid that you might fall and we don’t want that to happen.”

“All of us had an opportunity with a little bit of time in our afternoon and it was like we can do something good with it,” said Burns.

The four firefighters were able to finish the project in minutes. Jesse and his wife said it would’ve taken him a couple of days if he had done it on his own.

To thank the first responders, Joyce went inside and made them a homecooked meal.

“I’m glad to say now I have four friends,” said Jesse.

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