Family loses all in fire

Published 10:01 am Thursday, January 2, 2020

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A local family lost everything – including their home – in a fire on the morning after Christmas Day.

The home of Howard “Howie” Sanders on Cana Road was destroyed, said William R. Davie Fire Chief Jason Keaton. He said the fire was accidental, and started near the furnace.

Family members said the oil furnace exploded.

Sanders wasn’t home at the time, but his sister, Lucy Smith, was, and escaped with three dogs after hearing a pop, seeing flames, and calling 911 at about 10:15 a.m.

The interior of the home was gutted, and because of its age, the exterior was a total loss as well, Keaton said. On Saturday, the site had been cleared.

The family is especially thankful that Lucy’s husband, Don, a diabetic and amputee, was in the hospital and not at  the home.

Sanders had no insurance.

Lynda Sanders Dull, another sister, started a GoFundMe page to help her brother. “The generous support for our family has brought us all to tears,” she wrote.

Keaton said it is an all-too-familiar occurrence that almost every year in Davie County, a family loses their home during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.