Firefighters help Upstate family who lost home


An Upstate fire department is going above and beyond to help a family that just moved to the area lost everything in a house fire. 

Ware Shoals Fire-Rescue said the blaze engulfed a home on N. Greenwood Ave. Extension around 1:30 p.m. Saturday. 

The family of seven that lived there lost everything, including their dog that died in the fire. 

“The only thing we could do was watch how the flames burned the house… we couldn’t do anything,” Jorge Sanchez told 7News. 

Not much of Jorge Sanchez or his family’s belongings were salvageable. 

“It’s devastating!” said Sanchez’s girlfriend Amanda Altman. “You just work so hard and you try, and you wake up and it’s all gone… literally. Like everything you’ve ever worked for your whole life is gone.” 

Sanchez says they were out when the home they were renting went up in flames. He says moments after the blaze broke out they got home, but it was too late to save anything. 

“The policeman didn’t let us in, but our dog was inside. Our family dog was inside… and we wanted to go in and save her,” he said. 

After firefighters contained the flames, the fire chief says they learned the family had just moved to Ware Shoals from Ohio and had no one to turn to for help. 

That’s when the fire department took to social media and within hours were flooded with donations. 

Fire Chief Rodney Boyter said they did not expect the level of response. 

“This is a little bit overwhelming for people to step up and help folks they don’t even know,” Chief Boyter said.

Bags and bags of donations for Jorge, Amanda and their five children were dropped off at the Ware Shoals Fire Department on Sunday. 

The family tells 7News they made the right decision to move to Ware Shoals, because they community’s kindness in their time of need is more than they could have ever imagined. 

“They have done so much for us,” Altman said. “Thank you is not a big enough word. I will never leave, never ever leave.” 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 

The family says they are in desperate need of a mattress and place to rent. You can drop-off donations at the Ware Shoals Fire Department located at 39 E. Main St. 

Sizes for clothing: 

  • Father: size Medium, pants 32 x 32, shoe size 9
  • Mother: size Medium, pants 14, shoe size 9
  • 16 year-old-girl: size Small/Medium, shoe size 5
  • 12-year-old girl: size Small, shoe size 7.5
  • 10-year-old boy: size Medium, shoe size 8
  • 9-year-old boy: size 10/12 boys, shoe size 5
  • 3-year-old boy: size 4t, shoe size 11/12 kids

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