A BLESSING IN THE FIRE: Ward thankful for life after house fire

Published 7:38 pm Wednesday, December 4, 2019

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Most nights, Sarah Ward would be tucked in bed at her Williams Street home with her great-grandchildren right there sleeping in the room with her. But the great-grandkids couldn’t come over Monday night, so she chose to sleep out in the living room area in a chair instead – she doesn’t like sleeping in her bedroom alone.

Sometime before 4:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, Ward awoke to the smell of smoke, and trouble breathing as the thick air filled her lungs.

“I went to check out what it was and there was smoke all in the hallway – I couldn’t go down it,” Ward said.

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The smoke was coming from a fire that had started in her bedroom – Ward said she doesn’t know what caused it. But she got out and the fire department was called to get the fire under control. Once firefighters arrived, they had the blaze under control within eight minutes, but that could not save the bedroom and its contents, and heavy smoke and fire damage continued through the hallway and in much of the kitchen area.

A day later, the air was still thick with the stench of the smoke as Ward surveyed the damage once again.

Along the walls of the hallway, silhouettes of crosses were etched into the wall where the decorations once hung.

“I collected crosses of all kinds,” Ward said. “I loved my crosses. They’re gone now.”

Ward also lost her bed, her TV, dresser and most of her clothes. She also lost clothes and toys for her great-grandchildren that spent so much time in the home.

“What scares me is that’s where (my children) sleep,” Boyer said. “They’re in that room with her when they’re there. It could have been much worse; it’s a real blessing.”

Ward has lived in the home for about 30 years, she said. Boyer said she too grew up in the home, so the sight of seeing the charred walls was still emotional for the family.

Ward is staying with Boyer for now, along with Ward’s two dogs that firefighters rescued from the blaze Tuesday morning.

Boyer said finding a more permanent place to house her grandmother and the two dogs is the priority right now.

“Right now she’s staying with me when she doesn’t have anywhere else,” Boyer said. “She has a hotel room for the night. But we’re trying to find somewhere for her to stay and her dogs.”

The family is also raising money to help Ward get back on her feet at https://www.gofundme.com/f/1tw03bvklc?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet.

Boyer said no plans have been made yet to take physical donations, but that Ward is in need specifically of clothes – especially church clothes, a bed, a dresser, baby clothes and baby toys.

For more information or to see about donating items, Boyer can be reached at 704-698-5423.