Summerfield family overwhelmed by community support after house fire

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SUMMERFIELD, N.C. -- A Summerfield family celebrated Christmas after losing most of their belongings in a fire two weeks ago.

Investigators say the fire might have started in the chimney.

For years, Kelly Tysinger walked the Trail Head Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway and would admire a house at the top of the hill. When the house went up for sale, Kelly jumped at the chance for her dream home.

That was two years ago. Two weeks ago, the family was startled awake by their fire alarms and could hardly see through the smoke.

“We’re displaced but we’re not removed from where we belong,” Tysinger said.

Although they can’t live there right now, that doesn’t stop the Tysinger family from spending time at their Strawberry Road home every day.

“Things in life happen. People get sick. Houses burn down, and I think we do more damage when we ask the question 'why' instead of 'how can I move forward,'” Tysinger said.

The fire started in the chimney around 12:40 a.m. on Dec. 12.

“It made us realize how fortunate we are to be alive when we looked in that attic and realized literally the fire raging over our heads while we slept peacefully,” Tysinger said.

She and her husband woke up to screeching smoke detectors. Without them, they wouldn’t be alive.

“This room was just so thick with smoke you could barely see,” Tysinger said about her living room.

The family of four made it out safely as she watched her dream home from the edge of her driveway in tears.

“I’m standing there and I’m watching the dark, black sky. And the darkest cloud of smoke just billowing out of every hole on the roof. It literally was just mushrooming up. It was the eeriest thing and you’re just standing there watching your house burn,” Tysinger said.

Even through the tragedy, she counts her blessings and is in awe of the support from her community.

“We were so blessed before the fire and it’s just you’re blessed in a whole new way after,” Tysinger said.

She feels like part of her community now more now than ever.

“We see what people have done for us and it’s like how can we not be invoked and pay that forward in the future,” Tysinger said.

She tells FOX8 the whole house will need to be gutted and rebuilt. The earliest the family can move back in is this summer.

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