Firefighters help rebuild victim's home

By Ashley Mitchem, Morning traffic, news reporter, amitchem@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 11:22:47 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 24 2014 06:37:34 PM EDT

VIDEO: In April police say Marti Williams was assaulted, robbed and later her house was set on fire. Months later firefighters came together to help her rebuild her home and life.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Some Jacksonville firefighters stepped in Thursday morning to help in rebuilding the home of a 72-year-old woman who was victimized earlier this year.

In April, Marti Williams was beaten and robbed, and her house was set on fire days later to cover the crime, according to police.

Williams has been staying at a nursing home while her home is restored.

"She actually has no children, she has no one, so that's another reason the Justice Coalition stepped up," coalition board member Larry Ward said. "She has no one at 72 years old. This is her house. She owns this house but didn't have insurance on it."

That's when the Justice Coalition reached out to the Jacksonville fire union, along with a nonprofit called Builders Care.

"They've got shovels, they got axes, they have hammers, they have crow bars," said Builders Care executive director Matt Wilford. "Really it's not going to take very long. The Fire Department stepped up. They have about 25 guys out here."

All of them worked off the clock, giving their time to help Williams so she can move back in.

Randy Wyse, president of the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters, said many of the firefighters are from Station 19 and initially responded to either Williams' rescue call or the fire itself.

"It's good for them to see a bad scene and then be able to come and help," Wyse said. "So a lot of times it's a good stress relief."

As far as the work being done, it's going to take some time until everything is safe and ready for Williams to live there again, but the work done Thursday morning is a start.

"They are a bunch of animals, so they'll get in there and tear this thing down in a couple hours and be good to go," Wyse said.

Builders Care hopes the home is ready by Aug. 8 so Williams can move back in.

Officers arrested Mitchel Rivera in connection with the crimes.

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus