Cathy Brewington said she never thought her family would have to live through two house fires in her lifetime.
Friday afternoon, a blaze heavily damaged their home on 129 Buffalo St. in Buffalo. Mrs. Brewington and her husband, Tommy, shared the home with her son, Donnie Sumner, and grandson, Tyler Sumner.
“This is the second time,” Mrs. Brewington said, fighting back tears as she sat nearby on a neighbor's steps. “I was just like I am now, the only difference was I didn't have shoes the first time.”
The family was living on Rainbow Lane in Jonesville during the first fire that destroyed their home on Sept. 9, 1999.
Friday, the Brewingtons and Donnie were home when fire broke out. Tyler, 15, was at school. Mrs. Brewington said she and her husband were in bedrooms and Donnie was on the couch around 1 p.m. when he said he smelled something burning.
“He opened up the bathroom door and smoke started coming out,” she said.
The family and their Chihuahua dog, Coco, fled.
Jarrad Gardin, first captain with the Buffalo Fire Department, said firefighters were not sure of the cause of the blaze, but it could have been started by an electrical short circuit. He said he already had asked Union County 911 to contact the American Red Cross to assist the family.
Buffalo was assisted in fighting the fire by departments from Cross Keys, Bonham and Southside.
Mrs. Brewington said the fire could not have happened at a more difficult time.
“I just paid $500 for a pair of glasses and they are in the house,” she said. “Thursday I have going to have surgery for cancer on my back.”
Donnie also recently has been hospitalized and his medication was in the house. One of Tyler's important possessions, the Play Station he got for Christmas, was in the house. The family also had a new television.
Gardin said the Red Cross would assist the family with immediate lodging in a motel. After that, Mrs. Brewington said she did not know where the family would go.
(For those wanting to assist the family, Kathy Brewington's cell phone number is 441-5299 and Tommy's is 441-4799. Tyler wears an extra large shirt and size 38x30 pants. Donnie wears 32x34 pants and a large shirt. Kathy wears a medium shirt and 3/4 pants. Tommy wears 33x34 pants and a large shirt.)