Elementary school teacher, family homeless after house destroyed by fire

A family is homeless after a fire destroyed their home on Diamond Street. (WRDW-TV)
A family is homeless after a fire destroyed their home on Diamond Street. (WRDW-TV)
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News 12 This Morning / Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012

CLEARWATER, S.C. -- A family has been left with nothing more than the clothes on their backs after their home caught on fire early Thursday morning.

The home belongs to a family with three young children ages 2, 6 and 8. The father is a fifth grade teacher at North Aiken Elementary school and the mother works at GHSU.

Thursday night was just a normal night in the McClary home.

"I had just put some white clothes in the dryer," explained father, Quinton McClary.

Their children were in bed while Mr. McClary was finishing up some nightly chores.

"The smoke started, so I turned the dryer off and opened the window and tried to beat the fire myself," he said.

By that point, the fire was already too big.

"I told my wife to call 911 immediately, and I got them out the house, and it was just out of my hands from that standpoint," he said.

It spread quickly through the whole house.

"The hardest part for me was just being here and it was out of my control," McClary said. "I couldn't do anything except get my family out. I'm thankful to God that we got them out but that was just the hardest part."

Now, they're left to face a harsh reality.

"The four main rooms are pretty much damaged, especially the back end of the house and the fireman said there's smoke damage throughout the rest of the house," McClary said.

Firefighters say 50 percent of the house was destroyed by fire everything else by smoke.

"Memories, clothes, material things, you know everything," he said. "We weren't able to get any clothes out except what we're wearing right now."

But the fire took a lot more than just possessions. Quinton and his family have lived in the house for 10 years and it's also the home his wife grew up in, built by her grandmother more than 40 years ago.

"The memories that we've had here and we've made here, but I know things can be restored. The main thing is we're safe and that's the main thing," McClary said.

The fire broke out around 1:15 a.m. They also lost all the Christmas gifts under the tree that they had just purchased this past Saturday.

Bowles Construction came out to board up the home and make sure everything was secure. The McClary's are staying next door with family.

If you are interested in helping out the family, email hope.jensen@wrdw.com. The biggest thing they are in need of right now is clothing for the children and work clothing for the parents.

Clothing sizes for the family:

  • 2-year-old boy: 24 months, shoe size: 6 or 7
  • 6-year-old girl: 8 slim, shoe size: 13
  • 8-year-old boy: 10, shoe size: 2 1/2
  • Mother: 2X top / 3X bottom, shoe size: 10 1/2
  • Father: XL shirt, shoe size: 10 1/2

Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012

CLEARWATER, S.C. -- Clearwater fire crews say a family is safe this morning after a fire ripped through their home.

It happened around 1:15 a.m. on the 200 block of Diamond Street, which is off Old Stormbranch Road.

A family member told News 12 they think a dryer sparked the flame. However, fire crews have yet to confirm that.

The fire is under investigation as this time, and News 12 will continue to update you with more information as it comes into the newsroom.

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