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Fargo firefighters finish mowing for man after he suffers heart attack

Allan and Georgene Melander of Fargo appreciate the extra kindness shown by firefighters as they mowed their lawn after Allan had a heart attack. David Samson / Forum News Service

FARGO — A Fargo family is thanking firefighters who went beyond their usual duties to help out in a simple way: mowing their lawn.

On Oct. 2, 76-year-old Allan Melander was mowing his yard at his residence in the Osgood neighborhood in south Fargo when he suffered a heart attack.

Firefighters responded quickly and Melander was taken by an ambulance to the hospital, where he was treated for his heart attack and later released back home.

Meanwhile, however, his lawn was left partly-mowed.

So, Capt. Matt Brand and two fellow firefighters, Joe Svir and Gavin Pollert, took up where Melander left off and finished mowing his lawn for him.

Once they were done, they locked the mower away in the shed.

Georgene Melander, Allan's wife, said they didn't expect the extra help, but they are grateful for it.

"I get emotional when I think about it," Georgene Melander said. "It made us feel wonderful."

She added that her husband is recovering well.

Brand said he and his crew thought: "what better way to help out?"as the Melanders dealt with more important things..

He said incidents where firefighters do something beyond their immediate duties aren't that unusual.

"It's just one of those things that most, if not all, of us look at as, 'Treat them just as you treat your family'," Brand said.

Allan Melander said he and his wife moved to Osgood about 10 years after retiring from farming near Hunter, N.D.

He said they arrived in Osgood about the time the Osgood Fire Station was built.

"We watched them put up the big, long flat pole," Allan Melander said.

He said it was only after he returned from the hospital that his wife told him what the firefighters had done for them by mowing the unfinished lawn.

"I was impressed," he said. "They had it trimmed up really good."

The Melanders visited the fire station to show their gratitude, but missed the crew that helped them out.

"We'll go back soon one day," Allan Melander said. "Probably go trick or treating," he said with a hearty laugh.