REIDSVILLE, N.C. -- Nearly everyone who drives Route 158 in Reidsville stops at McCollum's Hardware and Grocery and they probably know Tammy Neal, who is behind the counter six out of seven days a week.
"Couldn't ask for a better honest employee. She's like a daughter to me, she's like family and she lost everything she had last night," said Larry McCollum, who has been Neal's boss for more than 20 years.
Early Wednesday morning Neal, her husband Ricky and their son Scotty woke up to their home full of smoke and in flames. The home was more than 100 years old and the family had rented it from a friend for eight years.
Ricky Neal says their son saved their life.
"The smoke choked him up and he woke up and came running into us and said the house was on fire...once we got out the windows broke and the whole house was in flames," he said.
Now the community is coming together to help the Neal family get through the winter and get back on their feet.
"We've had $100 gift certificates, $100 bills; people will roll their heart out," said McCollum. People have donated clothing, food, a washer and dryer, a temporary home and the local car dealership has even loaned the family a car.
"You'd be surprised the people that have come and helped us," the Neals say. They are glad the family of Reidsville is behind them in their time of need.
Fire officials don't know the cause of the fire and they say they may never know because the damage to the home was so extensive.