PILOT MOUNTAIN — It’s never a good thing when a family loses everything in a fire, but generosity by the community could help provide a happier ending to the story for Garvie Dixon and his seven children.
That includes a trailer being set up at a Pilot Mountain funeral home to collect items for the fire victims who were displaced by a blaze Friday night at their home at 753 E. U.S. 52-Bypass.
“That was terrible,” Jack George, a spokesman for Cox-Needham Funeral Home, said Wednesday of the incident involving the single dad, 40, and his children ages 4 to 15. Though all eight people were able to safely exit the wood-frame house they were renting which was heavily damaged, their belongings were lost.
Not long after the ashes had cooled, however, efforts were under way by various community residents and church members to help the victims rebuild their lives. People from as far away as Winston-Salem expressed a willingness to help upon learning of the family’s plight.
This led to Cox-Needham Funeral Home being selected as a central collection point for the public to bring in clothing and other necessities, after one local resident made arrangements for a receptacle through a Siloam trucking firm.
“We got a Hardy Brothers trailer down here back behind the funeral home and we’re collecting items for that family,” George said.
Since the trailer was brought in Tuesday, some clothing and one piece of furniture had been received as of Wednesday morning. George said other items would be welcome at the site on West Main Street.
“That trailer will hold a whole lot,” he said.
An American Red Cross disaster team volunteer arranged for food, temporary lodging and some clothing for the family on the night of the fire, but said more assistance was needed and called it “a sad situation.”
The children already have enough backpacks and school bags, but do need three-ring binders, reported Jessica Goins, one aid organizer.
Information on the clothing sizes needed for the various family members was provided by Goins. Included are:
• A 15-year-old boy who wears size 30/30 pants, men’s medium shirts and men’s size-10 shoes;
• Dixon’s 12-year-old-son — size 12 boy’s pants and size 8 shoes, and boys’ medium shirts;
• A 10-year-old girl who needs petite sizes — 10-12 clothing and 13 shoes;
• An 8-year-old boy — size 10 boys’ clothes, 2-1/2 shoes and boys’ medium shirts;
• A 7-year-old boy who needs size 8 clothing and 1-1/2 shoes;
• A 6-year-old girl — size 6 girls’ clothes and 10 shoes (toddler size);
• A 4-year-old girl — size 4 toddler clothes and 8 toddler shoes;
Meanwhile, their dad is in need of size 30/32 pants and men’s large shirts. But he already has four coats and does not need any more of those, aid organizers say.
A local laundry business has agreed to clean and fold the clothes donated.
At least one church made a cash contribution for the family, and there has been discussion about setting up a public fund at a Pilot Mountain bank for other donations. However, no details have been provided so far regarding that effort.
In the meantime, monetary donations can be made at Cox-Needham Funeral Home for the fire victims, George said Wednesday.
He added that the presence of the Hardy Brothers trailer at the funeral home will be indefinite. “We’ll keep it as long as needed — I guess if we have to get another, we’d do that.”
The cause of Friday night’s blaze is still under investigation, Jason Burkholder of the Surry County Fire Marshal’s Office said Wednesday. “There’s no final conclusion,” Burkholder said, adding that investigative efforts were mounted by both him and the insurance company of the house owner.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.