A family that lost everything in a fire that destroyed their home on Tuesday afternoon is trying to start over from scratch.
Claudine Ayers and her family have lived at 168 Woodcreek Drive for the past 29 years. Her husband died a few years ago from cancer.
While her home was paid for, she said her homeowner’s insurance company cancelled its policy after a roof leak damaged the ceiling.
Living on a disability check, Ayers said it was hard to pay for the basics before the fire. Now things are much worse.
“We’ve got no place to stay — no place to go,” said Ayers.
This morning at 10 a.m. Ayers and her family will pack up what little they have from a room at the Quality Inn to visit with the American Red Cross. She’s hoping officials there will be able to help.
The Surry County Chapter of the Red Cross gave them room vouchers to the Quality Inn for two nights. There is a possibility they will be able to help with a night or two more and help the family with rent to get them started, according to Red Cross volunteer Richard Seaver.
Ayers’ sister Barbara Allen, who is also on disability, was living in the home with her. Although she refused treatment at the scene on Tuesday, Allen spent two days in Northern Hospital of Surry County suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation. She was released on Thursday afternoon.
Ayers’ son, Jason, his wife Samantha and their children were living there as well. Both are unemployed and looking for work, Ayers said
The fire started just after 5:30 p.m. in one of the children’s bedrooms upstairs in the home. Ayers said one of the children was playing with a lighter in a closet when the house caught fire.
“I wish it wouldn’t have happened. I’m just thankful he didn’t burn up,” said Ayers.
Her grandsons are 5 months-old, 3 years-old and 4 years-old. Her granddaughter is 10.
For now, she said people have donated clothes for the children. The American Red Cross gave them vouchers to purchase a couple of outfits for each adult.
Ayers said her daughter-in-law is scheduled to see an official with The Salvation Army to see what services they can offer the family.
Mount Airy Church of God is hosting a fundraiser for the family on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. The church is located at 1313 Carter St.
Right now, the family’s most pressing need is a roof overhead.
Ayers wears a size 2- to 3-XL shirts, size 1-XL pants. She said she prefers the stretchy kind. She wears size 7-wide shoes.
Her sister, Barbara Allen, wears XL shirts and large pants.
Her son wears 36X38 pants and extra large T-shirts.
Samantha Ayers wears size 4-XL shirts and 3X pants.
The 4-year-old boy wears 10-14 tops and 10-12 stretchy pants.
The 3-year-old wears size 4-5 boys and the 5-month-old wears sizes 6 to 12 months.
Anyone who would like to help the family can call Claudine Ayers at 429-8171.
Reach Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.