ST. PAULS — A family of eight is overwhelmed by the flood of support from their neighbors and people outside their community after a fire destroyed their home and left them with next to nothing.
But more help is needed.
Amy Jacobs, 30; her 33-year-old husband, Nick; and their six children returned from the store on Monday to find their home engulfed in flames and a pet puppy dead.
“We are grateful and appreciate the fact that there are good people still out there in the world,” Nick said. “Kind of gives you hope at a time when you are about to lose all hope and faith. We came too far to turn back around.”
The Jacobs’ oldest daughter was worried about how the family was going to eat, but a cash card from The American Red Cross and money for a couple of nights in a hotel eased her worries.
“I am thankful and feel blessed because they (Red Cross) helped us with food. At first we didn’t even know if we could buy bologna and bread. We are blessed,” the daughter said with a big smile. “My family was able to buy groceries.”
Amy Jacobs, a newspaper carrier for The Robesonian, said she appreciates all the support she’s received from her co-workers, the Red Cross and all the people of Robeson County for helping her family recover from a devastating time in their lives. She didn’t miss a day delivering the newspaper.
Kristie Lewis, stepmother to her two oldest children, has been one of the family’s biggest supporters. The loss has strengthened the two families’ relationship, Amy said.
“Kristie has helped get donations and helped us get clothes and shoes for our family and household items,” Amy said. “She has even picked up and dropped off my kids from school. She has really been a big support in this whole situation. She set up the GoFundMe page.”
The fundraising page was established two days ago with a goal of $5,000 to help pay for the removal of the old trailer and to buy a new one. The link is https://www.gofundme.com/qccttx-family-of-8-lost-home-due-to-fire. As of Friday afternoon, there had been a single donation for $50.
At about 6 p.m. on Monday the Jacobs family was coming back from the store when they saw smoke coming from the direction of their home.
“At first you couldn’t even see the trailer. It was full of thick smoke around it,” Amy said. “It looked like the fire started in the woods, then went to the truck and then the trailer.”
The sight of many years of hard work gone in an instant was too much for Amy.
“I literally fell to the ground in disbelief. I am in shock and relieved at the same time,” she said. “You know, I always hear things can be replaced. Lives can’t, memories can’t either.”
The fire also destroyed a truck.
It took the Jacobs family nearly three years to save up the money to pay off the trailer and put the money down on a plot of land in St. Pauls, according to the Jacobs. They were renting land previously for their mobile home in Lumberton.
Nick Jacobs was out of work for about a year because of an injury to his wrist. He recently started working again doing construction and home repairs.
“I feel as a husband and a father I got to stay strong for the family. We done came too far, invested this much, so we got to keep pushing forward even with this major set back,” Nick said.
The family will forever be grateful to all the outpouring of support they’ve received, Amy said.
“Thank you to Kristie, to family and friends for their big support,” she said. “Also, a big thank you to all who have helped in their own way, thank you so much.”
The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
Reach Annick Joseph by calling 910-416-5165 or via email at [email protected] or Facebook Annick MultiMedia Journalist.