Neighbors band together to help elderly brothers after tree falls on home

Neighbors band together to help elderly brothers after tree falls on home

People in Decatur are going all-in to help a couple of elderly neighbors who lived on their block.

Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen was on Francine Drive, where a tree fell an pair of elderly brothers’ home months ago.

Gary and Quentin Abbott have not been able to move back in because of holes in the roof. But neighbors they had never met raised money to fix it — and are doing even more to take care of them.

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Petersen talked to 77-year-old Quentin Abbott, who said the last five months have brought some real trouble. A huge tree fell on the brothers’ home on July 18.

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“I was lying on the sofa and all of a sudden, I heard a ‘Boom!’ and no power,” Quentin Abbott said.

Thankfully, the brothers weren’t hurt, but they had to move into a hotel. Afterwards, rainwater came in through holes in the roof, and mold made a mess of the house. The brothers have had to repeatedly discuss all the damage with their insurance company.

To make matters worse, the transmission failed on Quentin Abbott’s pickup truck.

Neighbor Judy Stroud cried behind her mask when she talked to Petersen about the brothers’ situation.

“My heart just went out to them,” she said through tears.

Stroud and neighbors Deverelle Hoos and Flannery Winchester mobilized their block and got people to come from all around to help clean the place up.

There’s more work to be done before the brothers can move back in, but they’re grateful for everything that has been done for them.

“They’re tremendously helpful,” Gary Abbott said. " I truly appreciate it.”

Neighbor Leon Clymore said the fact that the neighbors came together reminded him what the holiday season is all about.

“It feels like the spirit of this season,” Clymore said. “Thinking of others. Sharing. Being kind and helpful.”

The GoFundMe is still up, and Stroud is hoping more people will come forward to help the brothers get by.

“I wish there was a way I could express my gratitude,” Quentin Abbott said. “I’m not sure how to do that.”