Ch7 story gets help for disabled vet with condemned home

Posted at 2:14 PM, Jul 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-27 18:43:29-04

Two weeks ago, a flash flood in the Wyoming County Town of Bennington so badly damaged a home on Graff Road that it was condemned and deemed unlivable.

For homeowner Dale D'Arconte, a disabled U.S. Army Veteran who served in Desert Storm, it was a terrible blow because Dale, his wife Debra, and Dale's 19-year-old autistic son had no way to pay for repairs.

The flood waters filled the basement, crumbling parts of a 1850's foundation, shifted the house and destroyed electrical, furnace and hot water systems.  Widespread mold was also growing inside the structure after the catastrophe.

However, when the D'Arconte's story aired on 7 Eyewitness News, it caught the attention of a fellow veteran from Wheatfield, Steve Tybor, Jr., who helped start a national faith-based volunteer group with his son.  It is called "Eight Days of Hope" and was formed after Hurricane Katrina to help rebuild communities that faced natural disasters.

"Eight Days of Hope," with many out-of-state volunteers, happened to be in town for the "Kingdom Bound 2017" Christian music festival held at Darien Lake - and they felt the D'Arconte's could use their help.

This week, "Eight Days of Hope," working along with volunteers from City Church in Batavia, have successfully repaired the D'Arconte's basement and reinforced it with steel beams.  The workers also found the veteran's house needed a new roof - which is in the process of being replaced.  Volunteers did landscaping and decontamination in the basement.

It is hoped that inspectors for Wyoming County will allow the disabled veteran and his family to resume living inside their house by the weekend.

A GoFundMe account is still collecting funds for the family to help pay for carpet replacement and the relocation of the hot water tank and furnace to the first floor - where it will be protected from any future floods.

You can view the GoFundMe account here:http://www.gofundme.com/help-the-darconte-family

Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his report.