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Tucson firefighters do yard work for Pearl Harbor veteran

Posted at 4:30 PM, Dec 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-24 13:39:26-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - Most law enforcement officials and first responders go above and beyond during calls everyday. But Saturday, the Tucson Fire Department did something extra.

Last week, TFD responded to call on the eastside for an elderly man who fell off his ladder while doing yard work.

Clarence W. Ellquist, a 97-year-old Pearl Harbor veteran, is at home recovering after the fall.

He says he does yard work from time to time, and there were branches that kept rubbing on the roof, keeping him up at night. He didn't think much of it when he climbed a ladder to trim them.

The ladder slipped out from under him, Ellquist said.

"It got to where I couldn't hang on with one hand because one was over the other, and then I had to let go. And when I did that, that's when I fell down and hit my head on the tree," Ellquist said.

Ellquist suffered a concussion and needed some stitches.

Two days before Christmas, Station 9 returned to the man's house to finish the job for him.

Yard work isn't something that's taught in the Tucson Fire academy. But in the spirit of the holiday, yard work became TFD's way of giving back.

"Unfortunately, it's not something we can do for every call we go on when we see a need. But this guy was pretty special. He served his country in a big way and we definitely saw a want and a need to honor him," Tucson Fire Captain Tom Carpenter said.