On June 25th, my mother's house caught fire, leaving her and my brother's family homeless. Thankfully, everyone is okay. And yes, this is the real reason my blog went eerily silent this summer. Mommy was almost killed, and my childhood home, nearly destroyed. This event has touched our lives deeply. Below, my brother Joe shares the story... and a plea for help.
~Alisha AKA FARThrough the Ashes...
by Joseph Flemming
n June 25th my mother nearly lost her life, and her home was nearly destroyed by an electrical fire. Thanks to quick acting neighbors and a one minute response time from the City of Linden's Fire Department, her life was spared. She spent the next week in critical condition at St. Barnabas burn unit.
Today my mother is slowly recovering, while she still has difficulty with mobility and receives physical therapy several times a week, she still posses her passion for life and her spirits are high.
Unfortunately, she did not have homeowners insurance on the house.
The cause of this fire was a 15 year old refrigerator.
We were thinking of replacing it several times but since it was still working we kept putting it off... You know that old saying, "If it aint broke don't fix it."
I think we all have this habit, to not replace things, especially appliances until after they stop working, well I consider it a painful lesson learned.
Through the ashes..
or the next six weeks we didn't know what to do next, my sister was about to have her baby, my mother needed to get to her doctors appointments and we were effectively homeless. The Red Cross put us in a hotel for several days, and my coworkers really blessed us with clothes donations, gift cards for food and tons of love & support. My good friend Weston Smith gave us space to crash for a week.
Camping became a way of life for us, we would stay at camp grounds close to the area so we could drive back during the day to take care of my mother and all of our business.
After heavy consideration we pooled everything we had and decided to fix the house. The fire report cited over $40,000 dollars in damages, but we knew we could do it for significantly less ourselves.
Several weeks ago my Fiance and I started the reconstruction. Progress has been brisk, the affected areas have all been gutted, permits purchased, replaced windows, new electrical lines and circuits ran. We have passed our inspections, restored power, water & gas, installed new plumbing where needed and have started to put all of the pieces back together again.
Now when we are so close to the projects completion we find ourselves just short of the finish line. I know that God has allowed us to come this far because of his grace. I am a proud man, never wanting to rely on others, hard working and not looking for an easy way out. Some questioned why would I want to save this house and my answer, because it is the right thing to do... not the easiest. Not only will the house be restored for my mother, but the house will be able to pass to future generations, allowing them a better start in their lives.
Our funds are depleted, we need just a little help to finish the job.
I have set up a donation cause fund here on Facebook. The application is secure, fast and payments are made through PayPal. Payment methods are convenient, you can use credit card,debit or your PayPal account.
For those of you who have helped you have my sincerest gratitude, and for those who has yet to help I thank you in advance.
To get started, just click the yellow "Donate" button bellow.
To view photos of the house and the reconstruction so far click the button bellow
Don't use electronic payment methods?
If you would like to make a donation of a certified check or money order send to:
PO Box 1995 Linden NJ 07036