By Marty Griffin

MUNHALL (KDKA) — A veteran with the Army National Guard just returned home from a year-long deployment to find his house in Munhall in ruins.

A friend, who was entrusted to take care of the property, failed to follow through. And now, the vet needs help to get back on his feet.

Staff Sgt. Ralph Martello’s homecoming from a long deployment was not a pleasant one.

“This is all from the rats. They gather what they can and make nests,” Martello said.

The Army veteran, who just got back from the Middle East, left his home in the care of a friend. However, that friend left the place sit abandoned and the rats took over.

“They chewed the wires and stuff in the back of the dishwasher,” Martello said.

Exterminators removed several hundred rats from the home.

Martello is a 31-year veteran of the Army National Guard. He’s served several tours of duty in the Middle East.

But this time, when he walked into his Munhall home for the first time in a year, he found a disaster.

KDKA’s Marty Griffin: “You just saw this yesterday. How did it hit you?”

Martello: “Overwhelming.”

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Rats chewed through his carpet and baseboards for nesting, and a roof leak has caused severe damage to his ceiling. That’s just the beginning. There is thousands and thousands of dollars in damage.

Martello: “Insurance will not cover it.”

Griffin: “Nothing?”

Martello: “No, they will not.”

Griffin: “From rat infestation?”

Martello: “That is correct.”

Griffin: “Have they told you this?”

Martello: “Yes.”

Griffin: “So, you have to figure out somehow to do this on your own?”

Martello: “That is correct.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Martello with his expenses. If you’d like to help, visit the page here:

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