STAMFORD - A former volunteer firefighter in Stamford regained some independence after a local charity organization replaced his stolen power wheelchair.

Harold Novak was a volunteer firefighter in Stamford's Glenbrook department for about 15 years until doctors diagnosed him with multiple sclerosis.

Novak's wife, Mary Ann, says a thief stole her husband's wheelchair while they were inside a store in December.

She says she learned about the Greenwich-based Needs Clearing House organization while watching News 12 Connecticut, and gave the group a call.

"She had tried to get assistance through Medicare but had no luck," said Joe Kaliko, of the Needs Clearing House. "She said they couldn't afford a new chair. They run about $5,000."

Kaliko says that after some searching, the group found a discounted chair.

The Novaks say they are very grateful to the Needs Clearing House.