Mechanic goes extra miles for those down on their luck - Tucson News Now


Mechanic goes extra miles for those down on their luck

Valley mechanic J.J. Burnias (Source: CBS 5 News) Valley mechanic J.J. Burnias (Source: CBS 5 News)
Burnias is surprised to receive $500. (Source: CBS 5 News) Burnias is surprised to receive $500. (Source: CBS 5 News)

We all have those frustrating days where we look to the heavens and say, "This day can't get any worse."

Next time that happens, you just might run into a man like J.J. Burnias, a Valley mechanic with a heart of gold.

He runs his mechanic business through word of mouth. He doesn't even have a store front right now and is practically hidden in a side lot.

But if his customer service continues like this, he's soon going to have to turn people away.

"I ran into her at the auto shop down the street," he said.

Amber Legler and her daughter, Baily,  were about to scrape together money they didn't have to fix a car that wouldn't run.

"I was pulling off the freeway to get Baily, and my car started shaking violently to where it was not drivable," Legler said.

She's a single mom, living paycheck-to-paycheck and after overhearing her hard luck story, Burnias offered to take a look and fix it for free.

"This heat gets you frustrated, and I saw it in her eyes. So I just wanted to help somebody out," Burnias said.

Legler was amazed how far Burnias went to help her out.

"He followed me up to his shop to make sure I didn't break down on the way and he took a look at it. And he started fixing it right away without even telling me anything about it," Legler said.

Burnias said it's just in his nature to assist someone in a bind. 

"If I see somebody who is not made of gold, I'll help them out," he said. "I've been in the same situation."

All he asked Legler in return was to spread the word.

Legler then approached Burnias with a surprise.

"I don't think you realize how much you helped me, so I submitted a story to you to the CBS 5 Pay it Forward, and they took on the story. And so as a gift to you to pay it forward, they have given me $500 cash to give to you," Legler told Burnias.

"You didn't have to do what you did. And being a single mom, that meant more than you could ever imagine," Burnias said.

Burnias has also been scraping and saving and has just secured a new location for his very own shop called Chevallac. That will soon be up and running at 55th Drive and Lamar in Glendale.

He was hoping his loyal customers would follow him but thanks to Legler, maybe he'll have a few more.

"For somebody to do that out of the kindness of their heart, you just kind of want them to I guess have some good luck in return," she said.

His shop has not had its grand opening yet but he does have a Facebook page and has even started a Chevallac clothing line.  

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly