The greater Ashland community is helping a local family of six get back on their feet after the Dec. 8 fire that claimed their Ashcake Road home.
Danielle Sharpe said her family continues to cope after the blaze. The outpouring of community support has made things a little easier.
“It’s hard to go by the house and see that it’s gone,” Sharpe said.
The Ashland community and residents from neighboring counties have extended a hand to the Sharpe family. It all started when the Ashland Volunteer Fire Company, who helped put out the blaze, wanted to assist the Sharpes in getting clothes and monetary donations to get back on their feet.
Although Sharpe was not there at the time of the fire, she said the blaze was discovered when her dog woke her sister up. Sharpe’s children were at home sleeping when the house caught fire.
“She actually is the hero, because if it wasn’t for her everybody would be dead,” Sharpe said.
When Sharpe arrived at the house, after being notified about the fire, she said firetrucks filled the street and she was told she could not enter her home. All the rooms were damaged except for one, Sharpe said, but most importantly, no one was seriously injured during the blaze.
Currently, Sharpe said her family is being put up at a local motel, but she does not know where they will reside after their time is up, although they are looking for a new place to rent.
“I was surprised and I still am,” Sharpe said, as she began to tear up.
The fire company has collected two rooms worth of donations including clothes, Christmas gifts and food, among other items for the displaced family. They have also raised $1,200, which will go directly to the family, said Ben Murray, the firefighter leading this effort. He is thankful for all of the support, but not surprised because he said he knows what small towns can do when residents pull together.
Murray said that some residents have even brought in their own children’s Christmas gifts for donations.
The overwhelming response and support from the community has overwhelmed Sharpe and her family. She said they are so thankful and appreciative for all the help they’ve received from all the firefighters and community members.
Murray added that they were even more inclined to help the Sharpes because of the two children in the family.
“It’s in a firefighter’s nature,” he said.
But regardless the station was pleased to help.
“We always get called in on people’s bad day, so the only time we really get a chance to interact with the community is whenever they’re in need or in trouble,” Murray said. “So, it’s nice for us to turn around and help and make something positive of something that was very negative.”