Columbus family rebuilding their lives after fire destroys home

Columbus family rebuilding their lives after fire destroys home

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus family is in the process of starting brand new after a fire ripped through their home on the afternoon of May 28.

Matthew Tinker say the fire started in the living room behind a sofa. He and his fiancee Rachel Sims came home after shopping to see their house on fire.

"We we came around the corner, it was big shock. I don't how to describe coming home to see the fire trucks here because it's your house. You don't expect it," Tinker said.

Columbus fire officials say the blaze was caused by an overheated power strip.

"Like everything you worked for in seven years is gone all because of a power strip," Sims said.

"It's a nightmare to go in there now. You see where everything is black. But I can look back and remember how everything was white," added Tinker.

The home is a complete loss and not much could be saved. A few weeks before the fire, Sims buried her grandmother.

The family also took another hit after the fire. Someone hacked into their bank account and stole hundreds of dollars.

"Noticed it was some money taken out in Atlanta," said Tinker.

The two adults and there three children, one who is autistic, are now living in a hotel until they can get back on their feet.

"You just got to stay positive and know that everything is going to get better," Tinker explained.

"My children, I want them to be able to be happy. That's my main concern," said Sims.

Since the fire destroyed the home on Apache Court, donations are pouring in from the community.

"Skin Traditions in Phenix City was one of the first to step in and help. East-West Karate are accepting donations for us and been a help and a Facebook group, Northeast Columbus watch group," said Tinker.

"There's so many good people. You wouldn't think they would be so quick to help people," said Sims.

The family says they plan on rebuilding their lives in another house.

The community has set up a relief fund for the family. If you would like to help, visit the relief page here.

Copyright 2015 WTVM. All rights reserved.