Galo family's new home

Wendy Briscoe, left, wife of Todd Briscoe of BG Builders, talks about the day Peato Peato “Ben” Galo died in an accident on a worksite leaving Maila Galo, center, wiping tears away, with children Kataleia, 7, Bruce, 14, Hipa, 16, and two others not in the photo, without a husband and father.

After losing her husband to a construction accident in August, Maila Galo also lost her home, unable to keep up with the rent.

For now, she and her five children are among about 20 family members who are sharing space in her brother’s house. But she recently learned she’s poised to receive an amazing gift from local builders, a Chubbuck developer, area building supply companies and members of a generous community.

At Chubbuck City Hall on Friday afternoon, leaders with the Building Contractors Association of Southeast Idaho and developer Lyn Yost announced they will be giving the Galo family a 1,600-square-foot new home. Planned for completion by late summer, it will have three bedrooms on the main floor and three bedrooms in the basement, with a side-loading garage.

“I just don’t know what to say,” Maila Galo said after the presentation, which she attended with some of her children and other friends and family members. “There are people that care for us. I’m grateful for this community that comes together.”

The home will be among the first residential units completed in Yost’s Northside Crossing Subdivision, which will be one of five multi-use developments planned for Chubbuck’s New Day District.

Peato Peato “Benjamin” Galo, 44, died on Aug. 20 when two trusses collapsed while he was working atop an 18-foot wall. The structure was intended to be a station for the new North Bannock County Fire Department.

“They had been double stabilizing it. Still to this day, the engineers don’t understand why it fell,” said Wendy Briscoe, whose husband employed Benjamin Galo as his crew leader.

Another worker was also injured during the accident, but Wendy Briscoe explained several others were spared from being crushed because a tractor had been pulled up near the shop, shielding them from the falling lumber.

“He was the best asset to our crew. We fell in love with his family immediately,” Wendy Briscoe said.

She said the name of the company has since been changed from Todd Briscoe Construction to BG Framing — referencing Ben Galo’s initials, which were tattooed on his hand.

Deloy Stuart, executive director with the Building Contractor’s Association of Southeast Idaho, anticipates project organizers will be “bombarded” with offers to help — ranging from landscaping work to home decor — now that they’ve made the announcement. He said officials with local trades have come forward to cover all of the labor. Yost is donating the lot, and there appears to be no shortage of donations of materials from area suppliers.

“It’s just going to be a great community project,” Stuart said.

Yost explained the home project will, like the neighborhood, be called New Day, in anticipation of a new day of hope for the Galo family following the tragedy. A New Day account has been set up at Citizens Community Bank to accept additional financial contributions.

Yost said the local building community has essentially adopted the family and has already hosted a golf tournament to raise funds to help them.

“As soon as we started talking with the building community, everybody we talked to said, ‘I will come over and swing a hammer, we’ll wire it, we’ll do the plumbing or whatever we need to make it work,’” Yost said. “One of their own has fallen, and they’re willing to step in and help out.”

Nathan Merrill, the association’s incoming president, said one of the reason’s builders have been so willing to help out is because the accident hit close to home with them.

“It was such a tragic accident to such a good person,” Merrill said. “It’s an opportunity for us as builders to heal, too, because any of us could have been in that situation. It could have been any one of us.”

Maila Galo’s brother, Shaloam Ofisa, considers the project to be a testament to the community’s generosity.

“There’s not enough words to explain what’s going on,” Ofisa said. “There’s just so much love in this community.”

The home will be located in the vicinity of the new Interstate 15 interchange, off of New Day Parkway, which was formerly Siphon Road, near its intersection with Whittaker Road.