(WHDH) — Former New York City Police Sergeant Allan Hoehl remembers September 11, 2001 like it was yesterday.
“It was such a beautiful, gorgeous day out,” Hoehl says. “Seventy-two degrees, blue skies. Not a cloud in the sky.”
Hoehl was cleaning out his Long Island garage that Tuesday morning when his son came in and said one of the Twin Towers was hit by a plane. Allan, the son of former NYPD Chief Allan Hoehl, Sr., knew in his gut it wasn’t an accident.
“I got in my car and I flew straight down,” he says.
Hoehl spent the next month at Ground Zero helping with the rescue and recovery mission, but at the same time breathing in all of the dust and toxins in the air. He ended up with colorectal cancer which metastasized into liver cancer. The 30-year police veteran vowed to fight. The years passed, filled with surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. But it’s a fight that Allan won.
“So far so good,” he says of his cancer, which is in remission. “I’m good right now.”
After his battle, Allan retired from the NYPD. He met a woman from the Boston area named Rachel and moved up to Methuen to be with her. The two recently celebrated their wedding at Disney World.
“I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life,” says Hoehl.
The couple moved into their dream home but there was something missing. Allan and Rachel had always wanted a large dining room table with an island so they could have family over and host large gatherings.
Allan went to Home Depot and met with a designer there who came up with a large granite table that could seat 10 people and featured cabinets as a base. Allan hired an installer to put in the cabinets. Then Home Depot had the heavy granite slab placed on top. That’s when he noticed a problem. The table was shaking significantly, back and forth on its base.
Allan called the installer, who he says blamed the designer at Home Depot. The company, he claims, blamed the installer.
“That’s when I got really frustrated,” Allan says. “I didn’t know what to do.”
After trying, without success, to get the installer to call him back for a matter of weeks, he reached out to Solve It 7.
The installer didn’t return calls to Solve It 7 either. But Home Depot did.
A company representative told us the installer was supposed to attach additional supports to the cabinets to stabilize the table on top, which they said he didn’t do. However, Home Depot agreed to help fix Allan’s shaky situation and replace the cabinets.
This summer, when Allan and Rachel got back from their honeymoon, the couple got their sturdy table.
Now the man who once helped keep an entire city safe is happy knowing his family is safe in their own dining room.
“Without Solve It 7, I would still be in limbo,” Allan says. “I appreciate Solve It 7 so much.
“We are very sorry for the confusion that arose during this project,” a Home Depot spokesperson said in a statement. “But glad we were able to take care of this for Mr. Hoehl and his family and appreciate his incredible service and sacrifice.”
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