Volunteers, veterans help clean-up home in violation of county code

A huge effort is underway in San Tan Valley as volunteers work relentlessly to help a veteran clean up his five acre property. A fire destroyed nearly everything he owns.

It's not just about rebuilding, Ron Purvis is in serious violation of county code.

In August, Ron Purvis will turn 72. The marine attended boot camp at Camp Pendelton and served as an aircraft electrician. As a member of the military, he experienced a lot, but Purvis says nothing was bad as the fire that tore through his san tan valley home.

"Two years ago, I had a fire burned down two 60 foot trailers that went up in smoke," said Purvis.  

He lost all of valuables and a lack of insurance meant making due caring for his 40 plus goats to the best of his ability.

His five acre property remained in disarray.

"That's how I discovered this was through a zoning violation because of the debris," said Terrilyn Klucar, with Pinal County Zoning Department.

Klucar's job is to find the people who don't or can't comply with codes. When she met Purvis, she knew she had to do more than issue a warning.

"The past couple weeks we've had help hiring, honoring veterans and now today we have operation enduring gratitude who are veterans helping to clean up," said Klucar.

The clean-up process has been grueling.

"We filled up a couple dumpsters worth of metal, wood, trash. We've been out here for about three, four hours already today," said Ashlynd Vaughn.

Volunteers former and active members of several branches have pitched in to help.

"What we're trying to do right now is reach out, put the word out there, let them know that veterans helping veterans is the big thing right now," said Kelvin McLemore.

"When I first came out here, he was very anti-help, anti-government he wanted to be left alone pretty much, and through all this effort he's really opened up," said Klucar.

There's plenty more to do, and as Purvis watches the effort, he is overcome with emotion. He is humbled perfect strangers are so willing when his health problems prevent him from doing much at all.

"They're not asking for anything and putting out a hand shake along with it so that makes me feel good," said Purvis.

The hope is to eventually give the veteran and his goats a new home.

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