Elkhart woman surprised with renovations months after fire

NOW: Elkhart woman surprised with renovations months after fire


ELKHART, Ind. --- A couple in Elkhart lost their home in a fire last fall and a local handyman stepped up to do the repairs. Not only is it a huge relief to get into their home, for one of them, the repairs were a complete surprise.

Shirley Mantle hadn't stepped foot into her home, that she shares with her longtime boyfriend, Robert Scott, since last October.

A fire, caused by a candle, gutted it nearly six months ago.

“My oldest daughter came and said, 'Dad, your house is on fire!' I came flying around and saw these fire trucks and said, 'What in the world?'” Scott said.

Scott didn’t have homeowner's insurance at the time of the fire.

“Awe the bathroom, he did a great job,” said Mantle said as she walked through the house.

Jules Mazar, a handyman, helped Scott with the repairs.

As she walked through each room, Mantle and Scott were in awe at the work Mazar did for them.

“I came here and looked at what Scott had and I started to help him. One thing led to another and I just kept going. He kept getting money for materials. I kept buying things to get his house back in order,” Mazar said.

Mazar worked on the home almost every day after the fire, making a plan with Scott without Mantle knowing.

In his work, he included something special that represented the couple.

Mantle loves sunflowers, so he hung a picture with sunflowers. She also always wanted wood floors, which are now in almost every room.

Scott never had a shower inside his home and Mazar added one for him.

Mantle said she plans to keep her new home safe from any future disasters.

“Leave candles out, leave candles out of your life,” she said.

The couple has been staying with relatives for the past couple of months since the fire. They will be moving back into their home on Monday.

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