MAXTON — Shortly after Elizabeth Locklear’s husband left for work on Oct. 28, the Maxton resident began to smell smoke spreading through their mobile home. Still dressed in her nightclothes, Locklear grabbed her dog and rushed outside to call 911.
While waiting for firefighters to arrive, Locklear watched as her home of 14 years on Brooks Drive was devoured by the blaze.
“I’m still having nightmares from it,” she said. “I can still see the flames.”
According to Terry Deese, chairman of Evans Crossroads Fire Department, the fire is believed to have been sparked by a propane heater malfunction at about 6:45 a.m. The blaze took firefighters two hours to contain.
Among the items destroyed by the fire were electronics, appliances, clothes, furniture and a stockpile of Christmas presents Locklear planned to give to her family. By buying gifts a littler earlier this year, she had hoped to take some of the stress out of the holiday shopping season.
Locklear and her husband Ryan, who hangs dry wall for a living, say they lost everything in the fire. Although the scorched pile of debris that sits where their mobile home once stood reminds her of how much more they could have lost.
“I am grateful for my life and thankful that my husband was at work,” she said. “He is a heavy sleeper and possibly wouldn’t have made it out.”
The couple was in the process of finalizing the lease on a new house when the fire broke out. Locklear says she had been packing their belongings inside cardboard boxes in anticipation of the move.
Locklear recently launched a GoFundMe campaign to help her and her husband get back on their feet. She hopes to raise $6,000 on the crowdfunding website.
“The money will greatly assist in getting some of our basic needs met,” she wrote in the campaign description. “We are seeking help to assist us in getting back to normal.”
Donations can be made online by visiting gofundme.com/wr9g3suc. Only $35 had been raised by the page as of Friday afternoon.
“We’re just trying to get money to furnish the home that’s coming and to replace clothes and basic essentials,” said Locklear, who has been staying with her mother. “Our community has been supportive but as you can imagine, when you lose everything, the needs are great.”
Jaymie Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5771 or by email at [email protected]