Community collecting donations for Walker County family who lost everything to fire
Firefighters arrived at the home on Van Dell Drive in Rock Spring on Monday, but could not save it.
A Walker County family lost everything they had to a fire. Firefighters arrived at the home on Van Dell Drive in Rock Spring on Tuesday, but could not save it.
Since Wednesday, people around the Tennessee Valley have dropped off clothes, toys, and books for the Godfrey family at their church, The Gathering. It's all to help them recover from a fire that took their livelihoods.
"One minute it was there. The next it was gone," Jeremy Godfrey who lost his home to a fire said.
Jeremy Godfrey's pregnant wife, 4-year-old daughter, and his mother escaped from a fire that destroyed their home.
He said it started in the back of the house where they keep two of their dogs. Godfrey blames heat lamps they were using to keep the dogs warm during the recent cold snap.
"It's a miracle that my family and my animals are alive and unscathed, you know?," Godfrey said.
Godfrey was at work and his 10-year-old son was already at school when it happened.
It appears all of their belongings are gone, but he and his wife are staying hopeful their wedding rings can be found in the rubble.
"My ring was a family heirloom. It was my grandmother's engagement stone set in my grandfather's ring, so it's very special and i had hoped to pass it to Jude one day," Godfrey said.
He was able to find his beloved guitar, a precious belonging, that's now damaged beyond repair. As they try to start over, the community is pitching in to help a family who has done so much for others.
"It just shows you that this Northwest Georgia area and Chattanooga were one. When one of us hurts, all of us hurts," Pastor Robert Streets of The Gathering said.
Pastor Streets said friends and even strangers have raised a few thousand dollars in less than 24 hours.
Godfrey plays guitar for the church's band and the pastor considers him a brother. The family said they had insurance for their home but it will take time to replace what was lost.
"Just speechless. You don't know what to say that people would care enough. Even people that we don't even know, just come together. The community has just been amazing through it all," Godfrey said.
For now, they're staying at his parents' home nearby. The Godfrey family wants to rebuild somehow, but they're taking it one day at a time.
"This has really shown us how fragile life is and how unimportant stuff is," Godfrey said.
It will be up to the Walker County Fire Department to figure out what caused the fire. For the Godfrey family, it's less about what sparked the fire and more about what it took as they await the arrival of their third child due in about two months.
The church located at 2501 Pine Grove Road in Ringgold plans on taking donations for the next week or two.
HOW TO HELP:
- Boy: size 12, shoe size: 4
- Girl: size 4T, shoe size 10
- Father: medium, 34x32 in pants
- Mother: small petite in maternity clothes
You can also donate to their GoFundMe page to help.