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Fayetteville firefighters to rebuild elderly woman’s deck

Fayetteville Firefighters Tim Chrysler and Lt. Jeff Jones got more than they bargained for when they responded to a routine EMS call to an elderly woman’s home Oct. 23.

“We went over to this woman’s house and immediately noticed that her exterior deck was in really, really bad shape. All of the boards were either loose or just hanging in midair. It was incredibly unstable,” Jones said. “There isn’t even a foundation for the deck. It is literally sitting on some loose cinderblocks. It’s a problem for a sure-footed person, and this is a woman who uses a walker. That was her primary means of entrance into her house. It’s just an accident waiting to happen.”

Jones said the woman had covered up the boards with a carpet in order to make it more stable to walk on. In order to inspect the damage, Chrysler pulled the carpet back, and when he stepped on one of the boards, he immediately fell through. Chrysler sustained no injuries.

“Thankfully, the deck only sits about two feet above the ground, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but it gives you an idea of how bad the deck was,” Jones said. “It solidified the decision that something needed to be done. One way or another, we were going to repair the deck for her.”

Chrysler and Jason Hulchanski, a paramedic with the Fayetteville Fire Department, are spearheading a complete reconstruction of the deck, a project Jones said the woman is extremely thankful for.

The project, however, will not pay for itself, and Jones and the rest of the people involved understand this.

“The Fayetteville Firemen’s Association, which is the not-for-profit side of the fire department that we are all members of anyway, will probably kick some in,” Jones said. “We are hopeful that some of the local merchants, lumberyards or home retailers will either cut us a break on the retail or cut us a break on the supplies. It’s only 12 foot by 9 foot, so realistically, the price of the whole project is probably under $500, so it’s not a major undertaking.”

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