Local News

'Life is coming back together' for Durham man living without power for more than a year

Posted November 14, 2018 4:48 p.m. EST
Updated November 14, 2018 10:07 p.m. EST

— The kindness of the community was on display Wednesday as strangers stepped in to help restore power for a Durham man who has been living more than a year without it.

Ramon Fernandez said Duke Energy won't give him power because his home isn't up to city code.

Durham man lives in the dark

The main issues, he said, are his stairs and the lack of a covering at the base of the home, but none of that was a problem in Goldsboro, where he used to live, with power, in this same home, he said.

After seeing his story on WRAL News last week, dozens of people reached out to help, including a contractor in Chapel Hill.

"There's going to be a point in your life where you're going to feel down, like the whole world is against you," said Mario Lopez with Build Ex, a contracting company. "Sometimes, you just need a friend to help pick yourself back up."

Durham man lives in the dark

Lopez was able to fix the stairs and add a lattice to the bottom of the home.

"It's a rewarding feeling. I could see myself doing more work like this in the future because this is what really matters," he said.

Fernandez said he always prayed for something like this to happen.

"I always prayed. I wanted my house to have life again. This is like a rebirth for my house, that's what I would call it," he said. "My life is coming back together."

Fernandez said the kind gesture fills him with hope.

"Now, I got hope. I got all these people coming, and there are some more coming to help," he said. "You have no idea how many times I sat in my living room not knowing what to do, what to think."

Once the work is done, the city will need to inspect the property. Then, Duke Energy can give Fernandez power.

Fernandez says he doesn't know how he'll ever thank these kind strangers who changed his life.