N.C. Family Whose Home Caught Fire Is Robbed Days Later — How Their Community Is Stepping Up
The Baldwin family was not home at the time of the Feb. 16 blaze but lost nearly everything in the fire and subsequent robbery
A North Carolina family is attempting to get back on their feet after facing back-to-back hardships at home.
Jared and Amber Baldwin's Mills River house went up in flames on Tuesday, according to ABC affiliate WLOS.
Four days later, things got worse for the family when they learned that their garage had been broken into, with what was left of their valuable possessions stolen, the outlet reported.
"We don't know what the future looks like," Jared told WLOS outside their charred house. "The only thing we know is we're going to rebuild [our home] right here."
When the fire broke out on Tuesday, it took a total of six fire departments and five hours to put out the blaze, the Mills River Fire and Rescue told WLOS.
No one was home at the time of the incident, so the family was unharmed, according to the outlet.
Still, the couple said they were devastated, as their home was built in the 1970s by Amber's family and was supposed to be where they spent their lives together, WLOS reported.
"Everything a person is... is inside those four walls," Jared said.
At this time, it is unclear what caused the flames to break out, but Jared said officials believe it may have started with a faulty outlet in their daughter's room.
"The fire marshal said it was more than likely a charger or something that was left plugged up in an old outlet or something," the dad explained to WLOS. "Every time she thinks of something that was in her room, she gets sad."
But that was only the beginning of their sadness, as just four days later, Jared said he went to check on the home and found two of his garage doors open.
"They stole PlayStations, monitors, jars full of coins, pocketknives, heirloom stuff, passed down stuff," he told WLOS through tears. "They stole thousands of dollars of my equipment that I've bought over the years."
Though they've been left heartbroken over the circumstances, the family has found comfort in their community members, who have offered support during these trying times.
"People have just dropped by and left money or toys, diapers," Jared explained to WLOS. "They set up a GoFundMe page that's amazed us every time we even look at it."
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The page, which was set up on Wednesday, has already raised over $18,700, surpassing its initial $10,000 goal.
"The funds raised will be used for items as needs arise such as when they move into a temporary residence," the page reads. "Many have asked about bring[ing] food. At this time, the family is taking it day by day."
"Once they see what their housing situation will look like, we will set up a meal train," the page description continues.
Those interested in donating to the Baldwin family's GoFundMe can do so here.
Anyone with information on the garage robbery is asked to contact the Henderson County Sheriff's Office at 828-697-4911.