Generous strangers help veteran save his home

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ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI) - Imagine you hire a contractor whose work is so bad; inspectors are ready to condemn the property?   It happened to a St. Charles man.  But fortunately some people stepped up to help.  It was touch and go for months as he waited for a contractor to finish the job he was paid to do.  Kenneth Holtz bought this mobile home four years ago. It needed repairs.   Mold and water damage had taken its toll.  So Holtz hired a guy to renovate inside and install siding on the outside.   Holtz paid him forty 4,500 dollars up front.  Holtz says the contractor didn't have to gut out the interior but he did. In the process he cut thermostat and air conditioner wires according to Holtz. 'He stated he was a general contractor with a hundred contractors under him.  He said he was licensed bonded and insured.'

Well that guy disappeared.  So Holtz hired an electrician to fix the wiring.  That cost 2,200 dollars.   But his work failed inspection.  St. Charles city was close to condemning the property because the work didn't meet code.   Tim Branham of Branham Electric heard about the problem.  Branham says it`s criminal what Holtz was put through. 'It`s a shame that there are so many people abused like this but who leaves somebody sitting in a power wheelchair with no running water, no electricity and no toilet facilities it`s criminal.'

St. Charles city officials realized condemnation of the property would make Holtz homeless.   People began to talk and the help poured in. And how does Holtz feel now?  'Very blessed with everyone having stepped up to help with finishing this back up.'

Branham is happy with the response.   'More contractors locally heard about this and they stepped up to the plate, donating labor and material.'

Generous strangers have helped him get past the initial frustration.  When this started last fall, the disabled Vietnam vet says he struggled to keep it together. 'It`s hard to go through all this.  You pay for something once and somebody has to come in and completely redo his work.'

Almost everything needed to put the home back together has been donated.  They're still looking for closet shelving, countertops and appliances. Its estimated Ken will be able to move home in about 2 weeks.