CYPRESS, Texas - Laughter, smiles and splashes filled Linda Comeux's backyard pool on a hot August afternoon. Her adopted son, Jamon, kicked his feet while her granddaughter held him afloat.
Jamon was shaken as a baby and left blind and unable to walk or talk, but swimming helps him exercise.
As Comeux watched her son and granddaughter in the pool, tears streamed down her face. One month prior she was not sure if their pool would ever get completed.
In April, the Comeaux family contracted Bellar Pools to build a swimming pool for Jamon.
After paying more than $40,000, the company shut its doors and the owner left town. Her yard was filled with a concrete pit, with no plumbing or equipment.
Comeaux said contractors estimated it would cost upwards of $15,000 to complete the job.
Several Houston homeowners brought similar stories about Bellar Pools to Channel 2 Investigates and the Houston Better Business Bureau.
After a July story on Channel 2, more than a dozen pool companies emailed and called offering to help finish the Bellar Pools customers' jobs.
Within a week of seeing the story, Mike Church sent crews to get to work on completing the Comeux family pool for free.
"We were glad we could help, we knew we had the resources, and this was a bad situation and we knew that we could take care of it," said Church, who owns Cody Pools.
Newleyweds Lauren Sotomayo and Elvin Sotomayor saw similar generosity from Bill Unger, owner of Premier Pools. The pool was the couple's first big home improvement project. They paid Bellar Pools $50,000 and had one payment left.
"What do you say to somebody who's going through something like this? They just paid for something they're not getting," Unger said.
Premiere Pools completed the job for $2,000, the balance the Sotomayors had left to pay Bellar.
Sotomayor said contractors had previously estimated anywhere from $14,000 to $18,000 of work was left.ite
Modern Method Gunite, Pentair Pool Products, Pebbletec, Apline Pools, Paramount, Ram Pool Plumbing, Texas Lonestar Construction Clean Up, Blue Gray Electric and JC Hood Ornamental also contributed services with Cody Pools to complete the Comeaux pool.
If you have a tip for investigative reporter Jace Larson, email or text him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 832-493-3951.
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