CHILDERSBURG, Ala. (WIAT) — Jeremy Horton had gotten up to make breakfast on Wednesday morning and was just about to slip back into bed with his wife, Brittany, and their daughter, when he heard the fire alarm beeping.
Horton describes the next few minutes as a blur of chaos.
“The back porch area was just engulfed in flames,” Horton said. “We tried to put it out. I tried to put it out with the hose pipe, but it caught the insulation on fire inside the roof.”
Horton, his sister, Angel, and Brittany gathered up the two children and tried to find the pet cat. A firefighter would later rescue her from underneath a bed.
The Hortons believe the fire was caused by a faulty light on their back porch. They had lived in the home in the River Walk community for almost a year, and had been fixing the place up piece by piece.
Now, they had to move into a hotel–leaving their pets behind for the time being.
“We’ve both been in situations of cramped quarters and tough living arrangements,” Jeremy said–explaining that he and his wife both served in the military. “We’re not too down. We’re in pretty high spirits.”
But the family is facing some serious challenges. While neighbors and community organizations have been generous with donations of clothing and toiletry items, the Horton’s didn’t have homeowners insurance.
“You never think tomorrow could be the day your house gets set on fire,” Jeremy said. Jeremy explained that they were working toward getting homeowners insurance and now calls it, a hard lesson learned. Brittany created a GoFundMe page.
Not only are she and her husband veterans, but Jeremy was injured while serving, and can’t work. They are hoping to raise a little over $3,000 — so that they will be able to clear their lot of debris and set it up so that they can eventually rebuild.
“I mean, it would be a great blessing,” Jeremy said. “It would really help a lot. Just to have that, because as soon as we can get that done we can get out of the hotel and just get back to some sort of semblance of normalcy.”
Jeremy, Brittany, and Angel are living in a hotel with the Horton’s two and eight-year-old daughters, thanks to the Red Cross. Jeremy said he has also reached out to the VA in Childersburg to see if there is anything that they could do to help.
Despite all of their challenges, the family is remaining optimistic.
“We have a lot of friends and family who have been helping out,” Jeremy said. “I think it’s all going to work out.”