COVID-19 has hit Danny Alea’s family hard. The Cobb County firefighter lost his father-in-law to the disease, and he and his mother-in-law were also hospitalized with it.

“I seem to improve a little bit each day,” said Alea, who’s currently using an oxygen tank to assist with his breathing.

Alea’s wife Suzanne said her husband’s Battalion 3 colleagues were worried sick during his two-week hospital stay.

“We weren’t sure if he was going to come home or not,” said Suzanne Alea. “They were praying for him, and they were calling me asking how they could help.”

They learned Danny was renovating the house next door to get it ready for his in-laws, Carlton and Mary Fritts, to move in. But they, too, were hospitalized with COVID in December.

Alea’s 92-year-old father-in-law did not survive.

On Friday, several of Alea’s fellow firefighters spend their off-day painting and doing carpentry work to keep the renovations on schedule for so that Alea’s 86-year-old mother-in-law can still move in.

“As public servants and as caregivers, we love to take care of people,” said Cobb County Fire Department Capt. Ryan Gillen, “and when we get to take care of our own, it’s something special.”

“They’re now part of our family, the firefighter family,” said Suzanne Alea,” and we’re just very blessed to have them in our lives.”

“When you think there’s a possibility that you won’t come home,” said Danny Alea, “it hits home that time may just be the most valuable commodity on the planet. I can’t repay their time, but I can certainly pay it forward to other folks.”

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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