Spartanburg teacher figuring out what’s next after home destroyed in fire

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A Spartanburg teacher and her family are starting from the ground up after a fire destroyed their home and everything inside. They lived in one of the units at The Grove apartment complex off Highway 29 in Spartanburg that caught fire Monday evening.

Lindsey Leonard looking back at the place she once called home. Now, it’s a charred apartment unit. Inside are remnants of precious items and artifacts she and her family will never get back.

“Baby footprints from the hospital, and baby pictures and a first blanket,” Leonard said.

She said none of them were home when the blaze started.

“I began to get phone calls and texts, people asking if we were home and if we’re okay because they had heard there was some fires at the apartments,” Leonard said.

But eventually, came back to a street full of fire trucks.

“I walked down the hill and I saw that the entire roof, as you can see behind me, was gone and I knew that’s our apartment on top,” Leonard told 7 News.

It all adds on to an already difficult year. Leonard is a teacher. The school where she teaches is trying to help in this time of tragedy.

“What we’re focused on right now for her is trying to get gift cards through faculty, friends and family because while they wait for the GoFundMe, which will help with clothes and furniture and things like that, right now they’re living out of the hotel,” said Assistant Principal with GREEN Charter School of Spartanburg, Melissa Hester.

But despite the fire stealing so many treasured things, Leonard and her kids are keeping their spirits high. She doesn’t know what’s next exactly, but she is grateful she has her family.

“We’re still here and God still has a plan,” Leonard told us.

Leonard said they have been staying in a hotel with help from the Red Cross. But what’s after that, she told us they’re still trying to figure that out as well.

12 units were damaged in the fire, with one minor injury reported. What caused it all is still under investigation, but deputies told 7 News arson has been ruled out.

Leaders with GREEN Charter School of Spartanburg are also collecting gift cards that can be donated to her family.

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