School comes together to help student after house fire

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A Henry County family is getting a big helping hand after a Christmas Day fire destroyed their home.  Much of that help is coming from Luella High School where one of the people affected is a student. 

Kristin Dean is a sophomore and is on the basketball and softball teams When asked what the first day of school was going to be like now that she had lost everything, she said: “Crazy, I don’t even have enough clothes.”

Dean and her sister Amir Crawford said the fire that swept through their Henry County home on Christmas Day happened about 3 p.m. They had opened their presents and were relaxing. Seven people were inside the home at the time. 

The blessing was that everyone made it out safely. The tragedy was the family lost everything.

 “Honestly, it felt like a dream or like I was watching TV,” Dean said. 

“I have been hoping it’s a dream but every time I wake up, it’s still there,” Crawfod said.

Things are looking up for the girls and their family, thanks to the love of Luella High School. Crawford graduated from the school in 2017. Friday, families there emptied their pocketbooks, their closets, their pantries and hearts to to help.

The news of the fire had spread quickly over social media. Coach James Roberts is the Co-Athletic Director for Luella High School and opened the school during this Christmas break to take in donations.

 “There is a decency in people still. When coach Latoya Brown, the head basketball coach, texted me and Michelle Ahmad and said 'Hey, these two students need help.' And the response has been incredible,” Roberts said.

There was also furniture on the way that will be stored at the high school for when the family was ready.

The two sisters said they were overwhelmed.

“A big start,” Dean said.  “Everything was taken – clothes and food. Right now we are at a hotel and they only give out breakfast in the morning.”

And speaking of needs, Dean thought of all the thing she will need to return to school on Jan. 8:  “Clothes, shoes, school supplies.  My school computer burned, my book bag everything.  It’s just all gone."

They will continue to take donations after Friday’s event. If you'd like to help, please contact Luella High School in Henry County.