A Place for Ace: Community helps rebuild veteran's burned home

Community comes together to rebuild home
(Kristen Hampton | WBTV)
(Kristen Hampton | WBTV)

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A man's home is his castle, as the old saying goes. Even though Ace Beam's home was severely burned more than a year ago, he still considers it a castle.

"It's funny you don't know what you have until it's gone," Beam said.

In March of 2015, an unattended candle caught the house on fire and made it unlivable. For months, Beam tried to have it fixed up, but lacked the money and resources to do it.

Beam is a retired Marine serving what he calls "only four years," but the community heard of his plight and decided to come together and help rebuild "A Place for Ace."

A Facebook page put Beam's plight out for all the world to see, and the world responded. At least to Beam, it's considered the world.

Gastonia contractor Rick Russell and John McIlmail were just a few of the people who tried for months to secure funding from a major corporate donor to help rebuild the house.

A week ago, Home Depot announced they would pay $30,000 to help.

"It just means the world to me, all these people who want to help me," Beam said.

The 71-year-old has suffered a heart attack and a serious infection in his sternum, both of which he said almost killed him.

While sitting in his halfway rebuilt home, Beam got a tear in his eye when talking about why it is so special.

"To have a place to call home is a whole lot better than to be homeless," he said. "I consider myself very blessed."

Right now Beam is living in rental housing, but said major work is supposed to start on his home in early November.

Copyright 2016 WBTV. All rights reserved.