A Brooklet family lost almost everything, including Christmas gifts, in a house fire early Tuesday morning.
Bulloch County Fire Chief Christopher Ivey said firefighters were called to a Cleary Road home around 7:35 a.m., to find “visible flames and smoke” coming from the home of Adam and Jessica Sanders.
Jessica Sanders told the Statesboro Herald her husband Adam was cooking when the stove caught fire. Ivey said possibly grease had ignited from the heat. Firefighters fought the blaze, but the home was a total loss. The victims “tried to put the fire out, but were unsuccessful,” he said.
“We saved a Bible, a picture with the word ‘faith’ and the baby books,” Jessica Sanders said.
There were no injuries. The Sanders had gone outside and left the food cooking, and returned inside to find the fire, he said.
Friends and community members began collecting donations Tuesday, dropping them off at a business owned by relatives; Sanders Produce, in the former L&D Produce location on East Main Street. The Sanders have three children; one lives with them part time and at other times with another parent, she said. That child’s clothing was not lost, but all the children’s Christmas gifts and toys they already had were destroyed.
One child, a boy, is 8. He wears a size 12-14 pants, large child’s shirt and size 3 1/2 to 4 shoes.
One daughter is 3 years old, and wears toddler sizes 3T to 4T and size 9 shoes. The other daughter is 2 and wears 18 months to 2T, with size 6 shoes.
Jessica Sanders wears size 15-16 pants, large to extra-large shirts and shoes in sizes 7 ½ and 8. Adam wears pants size 30/30, small to medium shirts and size 9 1/2 to 10 shoes.
Ivey said the American Red Cross assisted the family as well, and helped with temporary lodging. Ms. Sanders said her family will stay with relatives until they find another home. They were renting the Cleary Road home, she said.
Losing a home is devastating, and both she and her husband have imagined smelling smoke several times since the ordeal. “I never want to smell smoke or hear a siren again,” she said. But “I am thankful to everybody for everything. Whether it be a dollar or prayers, they have been a blessing to this family.”
Donations are being accepted at Sanders’ Produce at 231 East Main Street in Statesboro, Ga. 30458.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414