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Tree topples on veteran’s home, volunteers help him rebuild


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Pat Smith became a victim of April’s high winds when a 54-foot tree came crashing down into his home.

LITTLETON, Colo. — A Vietnam veteran living in Littleton is getting more help from his community than he’d ever thought possible. 

“I’ve always been a giver, not a taker,” said Pat Smith.

Smith said he dedicated the last 31 years to helping veterans through the American Legion. Following high winds in April, he’s now a veteran on the receiving end of help.

“On Saturday, the tree came and broke my house, basically broke my house,” Smith said. 

Smith said a 54-foot tree snapped and came crashing into his living and dining room. He said he was overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do. He called the fire department, then his insurance, USAA and an arborist.

When the arborist told him winds had sent fiberglass through his home, he feared for what the cost of repairs would be.

“He came out and looked at it and he says, ‘You’re gonna need more than just a tree removed, you’re going to need this house rebuilt and I know who to call,'” Smith said.

That call went to Chris Hock, a contractor with Earth Saving Solutions. He said after hearing Smith’s story, he knew he wanted to help.

“He was telling me all these great stories about how he helped our country, continued to serve our country and still to this day, his mission is to continue helping vets,” Hock said. “I just fell for the guy. He really needed someone to help him.”

Hock said the project started out with painting cabinets and adding new flooring, but the job quickly grew.

“It has turned into a bunch of contractors coming together to remodel the complete house,” Hock said.

Hock, along with other contracting partners are renovating Smith’s entire, 4,000-square-foot home at no cost to Smith.

“If we get enough of us together this all becomes something really big and becomes the house of his dreams,” Hock said.

Hock explained that insurance was able to cover the damage impact site of Smith’s living and dining room, but the rest of the housework is support by donations and labor from nearly three dozen agencies, like Chaos Productions, Colorado Homes and Design, DS Inc. Demolition Services, B and B Garage Doors, Sherwin-Williams, Veterans Electric and Patino Drywall.

“I’m overwhelmed watching what these guys are doing,” Smith said. “I have no clue how I can repay them, I don’t think I can repay them.”

Smith said he’s lived in the same home in Littleton since 1995. He said there haven’t been any major renovations since 1978. That’s all soon to change once the drills and saws stop.

“The good Lord put Chris in my way and I’m just so thankful, so thankful,” Smith said.    

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Colorado Weather 


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Tree topples on veteran’s home, volunteers help him rebuild

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