For immediate release - August 30, 2011
Leesburg Fire Department and The Home Depot Answer a Call for Help in Our Community
The City of Leesburg Fire Department teamed up with The Home Depot on Tuesday to build a life-saving home improvement project for a local woman.
Firefighters previously rushed to help Mary Mitchell several different times after she stumbled and fell outside her house at 408 Lake Street in downtown Leesburg. The 73-year-old senior avoided serious injuries although she really needed a safer way to reach her front door.
The solution: build an access ramp that saves Mitchell from using three concrete steps leading to the house.
Firefighters volunteered their off-duty time and drew up plans for the small ramp. “I am extremely proud of our crews – this is indicative of what they do every day,” said Leesburg fire Battalion Chief Mike Franklin. “They are always looking at going the extra mile.”
The fire department also found a valuable partner at the local Home Depot at 10825 U.S. Highway 441 in Leesburg, where lumber department manager Mike Buras eagerly joined the effort and asked the store to provide all the wood and other materials needed for the ramp.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to help the community,” said Buras, who worked with firefighters on Tuesday and also received a heartfelt hug from Mary Mitchell.
“This is such a blessing – they are so wonderful,” Mitchell said while watching the team of workers at her house.
Mitchell has lived at the home for about three years. She is assisted by her two sons to handle many activities.
The affordable housing property is among several in downtown Leesburg rented by the non-profit Community Development Corp. (CDC) of Leesburg & Vicinity. “It’s wonderful for the firefighters and The Home Depot to provide help,” said executive director Patricia Lee.
Leesburg is a progressive city of more than 20,000 residents in northwest Lake County. The city government serves twice as many people with its electric, gas, water, wastewater and fiber-optic public utilities. Leesburg also is a central hub for commerce, attracting 50,000 people to work each weekday.