Summer is blazing down on us, with the official start of the season just a week away. Nonetheless, in some parts of the United States, temperatures are already scorching. Fort Worth, Texas, is one of those places, with temperatures reaching up to 90 degrees in the past week. And for one 95-year-old resident, it hasn’t been pleasant at all because his air conditioning unit stopped working.
Still, according to CBS News, Julius Hatley made the best with what he had, sitting on his porch in the shade in an attempt to cool down and laboring on with his yard work despite the heat.
However, by Thursday, the elderly man had called the Fort Worth Police Department to report that his air conditioner was broken.
“This wasn’t a regular 911 call,” Fort Worth Police Officer William Margolis told CBS News. “It was what you’d label ‘low priority’ because we’re not AC techs.”
“Low priority” or not, Margolis and his partner, Christopher Weir, ended up extending a helping hand to Hatley, popping in to check on him after responding to a few other calls first.
The officers discovered that Hatley’s window unit and central air conditioning were both broken, making his house unbearable.
“When we got there around 8:30 a.m., his house was 85 to 90 degrees already,” Margolis said. “In Texas, it gets hot.”
Margolis couldn’t take the thought of the spry 95-year-old being in the heat, and so, after consulting with Weir, he decided to make a pit stop at Home Depot, where the officers asked the employees about a good AC unit, explaining Hatley’s situation in the process.
The workers at Home Depot were so inspired by the officers’ story that they offered to pitch in money as well to help pay for a new unit for Hatley.
“This is what being an officer is about. This is what the media doesn’t report on but happens every single day by officers all over,” Weir’s wife, Jennifer, wrote on Facebook, posting pictures of the the officers purchasing and installing the unit.
Hatley was excited about his new and improved system, and posed for a few pictures with the officers who helped him.
“He was actually really excited,” Margolis recalled. “He said he knew if he needed help to call 911, and we actually were able to help him, so he was really excited about it.”
“I appreciate that,” Hatley told the news station.
But the acts of kindness did not stop there. Jennifer Weir told CBS News that ever since, the family has been working to make sure that Hatley has the things he needs to be comfortable.
“Since the story was [first shared], we have all worked on getting his central air replaced and a company came forward to do so, completely for free,” Jennifer Weir said. “We are also currently working on getting his windows replaced, his house repainted and groceries every week.”
And Margolis said that he is going to make sure he checks in on Hatley from time to time, just to make sure things are going smoothly.
“He’s 95 years old and he’s a World War II veteran,” Margolis said. “He’s a hero. In our eyes, he’s our hero.”
Read more at CBS News.