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Firefighters Rebuilding Man’s Home After Blaze

April 1, 1987

DALLAS (AP) _ Firefighters have offered to rebuild the home for a 78-year-old man who had been sleeping in a car since his house was gutted by a fire that killed his 80-year-old brother.

The Fellowship of Christian Firefighters offered Tuesday to rebuild Louie Watson’s home, which city officials could not be inhabited until extensive repairs were made. The fire occurred in January.

Firefighter Mike Irvin said he read an account of the man’s plight in the Dallas Morning News on Friday.

″When I saw somebody in need, it just hit me that I wasn’t doing anything off duty and I knew I could help,″ said Irvin. ″If it wasn’t done this way, it wouldn’t have gotten done.″

Watson had let the insurance lapse on the house, which he bought in 1962.

″If everything goes right, and I’m sure it will, we’re going to completely restore his house,″ said Irvin. ″The manpower is taken care of.″

Several dozen of the 300 fellowship members will probably work on restoring the house, said Ray Seymore, president of the group.

″What we are basically trying to do is set it up so he can move back and get on with his life,″ said Irvin.

Seymore said Watson was ″just real happy″ when he learned his house would be repaired. ″He had tears in his eyes as he was thanking me for it.″

Watson said he had been sleeping in his car because he did not want to go to a home for the elderly. Last week, city officials persuaded him to move to a shelter.

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