Heating company replaces elderly man's boiler for free in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN (WABC) -- When a heating and plumbing company found out an elderly man was living without heat for more than a week, it decided to step up and help -- free of charge.

For weeks 90-year-old Edgar Ballance had no heat or hot water in the frigid temperatures living all alone.

"You'd be surprised what it does for me," Ballance said.

A neighbor called Vigilante Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning to see if they could help, but the technician realized Ballance was in trouble.

"When I went upstairs to talk to him, he was visibly cold, and you could tell he was in distress from being so cold," Vigilante technician Vincent Rizzo said.

Rizzo is the technician who said the boiler was 40 years old, the water heater also was shot and the bill would be a real hardship for Ballance.

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So he told his bosses the customer was in a tough spot. The equipment alone would have been $12,000.

"They said right away that we need to do something for Mr. Ballance and we pulled everything together and got that boiler in for him," Rizzo said.

Vigilante's motto is "Tough Name, Tender Company," and their decision to help Ballance was certainly tender.

"We are a family business, we've been in business for 93 years, and we feel sometimes you have to give something back, sometimes you have to do something for people," Anthony Vigilante said.

Last Friday they did the work so Valentine's Day weekend was warm and toasty thanks to a thoughtful call by a neighbor and a spontaneous decision to be kind.

"People should pay it forward, do something for somebody else when you get a chance to," Vigilante said.

"I'm glad this company came, it made my life much better," Ballance said.

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