News 12 First at Five / Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013
SALLEY, S.C. (WRDW) -- Tony Thompson and his three young children aren't left with much.
"As far as I know, the fire department said the fire started over in this area," says Thompson as he showed News 12 what's left of the historic home. "They worked really hard to get this thing put out."
To say the home was burned to the ground doesn't quite describe it. Wooden beams are warped toothpicks, vinyl siding looks like melted taffy, and years and years of possessions and keepsakes are now just a potpourri of charred, glassy debris.
"Baby dolls, clothes, and stuff like that can be replaced," says a tearful Thompson.
Chief J.D. Bledsoe says Salley Police Department is investigating the fire that broke out late Christmas Eve. Luckily, Thompson and the three children weren't home.
"I was at my mom's house putting together one of my youngest daughter's gifts and happened to get the phone call that the house was on fire," he says.
But on this gloomy day after Christmas, Thompson and his kids return to the ruins. Crime scene tape still blocks the remains, but this family is scoping out anything worth salvaging. The TV is melted, the XBOX destroyed, years of pictures are likely gone forever, and a Christmas tree is incinerated, along with the gifts below it.
"All we have is basically the clothes that we had on our back at the time," Thompson says.
But Thompson says he does have one more thing that's more valuable than the rest: the gift of love.
"If you've not spoken to your family lately or friend or something, look them up and find them. Call them. Tell them that you love them," he says.
Thompson says he's thankful for the friends and family members who have already donated clothes and other things, but his three children are still in need.
If you would like to donate, call the family at (803) 564-3427 or (803) 564-3461.
The family has provided News 12 this list of clothing sizes for the three children:
Angel (12 years old)
- Pants: Women's 10 short
- Shirt: Women's Medium or Large
- Underwear: Women's 6
- Shoes: Women's 10
Chris (9 years old)
- Pants: 14/16 husky
- Shirt: 16 Boy's
- Underwear: Boy's Large
- Shoes: Men's 7
Emmalee (4 years old)
- Pants: Kid's 7
- Shirt: Kid's 6/7
- Underwear: Kid's 6
- Shoes - Kid's 12