NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – It’s been five years since Norfolk-based Maggie Byrum lost the love of her life.
“He was a very nice man. We had 13 foster children, ”explained Byrum.
Her late husband, William Byrum, was a Norfolk firefighter for many years. She says he’s committed to a life of service.
“He would go to work every day. He was injured many times. The last one really toppled him. It was a three-alarm fire in South Norfolk. He went up two floors and they had to go in and find him. He was in the hospital for six months, ”said Byrum.
Byrum ultimately says he died of sepsis, which caused his kidneys to shut down.
She has looked after the house as well as possible since his death. A little over a year ago the roof started leaking.
“My friend came to stay when I had surgery and there was a leak just above her bed so this was the first leak,” she said with a chuckle.
From there leaks appeared everywhere. She called SB Roofing to see what they could do and the owner, Scott Byrd, came over to check it out.
“When I got to the door, I saw a sticker that said ‘Norfolk Fire and Rescue Retirement,'” said Byrd.
Since Byrd was a Norfolk firefighter himself, they hit it off right away. He says the roof is beyond repair and needs to be completely replaced.
“I knew she was on a tight budget and couldn’t afford a new roof, so I felt compelled to help her,” said Byrd.
He worked with three other Norfolk firefighters who owned businesses to cover labor costs: Island Pool Services, Tidewater Chimney Sweeps, and Hawk Mosquito and Pest Control.
Then ABC Supply donated all of the material and GAF, North America’s largest roof manufacturer, donated the shingles.
With their teamwork, Byrum’s new roof didn’t cost them a penny.
It is a gift that she says is a blessing that cannot be put into words. It shows that even though her husband has passed away, her family of firefighters always has their backs.
“Once a firefighter, always a firefighter – that’s what my husband always said,” said Byrum with a smile.