REIDVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Community members on Monday welcomed home Melvin Pittman and his wife, Vicky, with a procession and other gestures. Pittman spent eight months in the Augusta Burn Center after he was caught in an explosion; his wife followed him there for treatment.

Dozens lined Main Street with signs, pom poms, banners and smiles as the procession passed through. The event had been kept secret from Pittman.

The Pittmans hold a special place in the community’s heart.

“If you haven’t met them in the church or in the town, you’ve met them volunteering or doing anything in their free time,” Christine McKaba said.

While the Pittmans were away, friends and family remodeled their home. New floors were installed, a new ramp onto the porch was built, walls were repainted and every surface was deep-cleaned.

“We’ve been working here for about a week nonstop from about 8 o’clock in the morning until 11:30-12 at night to try to get everything done and cleaned and put back for them so that when they come home, it’ll be ready,” Tamara Hammett, Vicky Pittman’s cousin, said.

Hammett said the recovery process will continue now that the Pittmans are at home once again.