FORT MITCHELL, Ala. (WTVM) - A fire in East Alabama destroyed one family’s home, leaving them scrambling to figure out their next steps: where to live, what to wear, and how to move forward.
Now, a few specific items that survived the fire are giving them hope to move forward.
Charred furniture, burnt Christmas decorations, and scorched walls are all that remain of the Feliciano’s house in Fort Mitchell.
“You’re thinking of everything you have, everything you own, but it’s really a shock at that moment," said Jeffrey Feliciano, who lived in the house. "But I’m thinking I have to start over. I’m 55, I’ve got my family, my children, my grandchildren.”
Officials said they’re still investigating what caused the fire Sunday afternoon. For the family, they’re thankful their daughter, who was inside and asleep, made it out alive. And they’re trying to figure out their next steps.
“I’ve got to find a roof for my family," Jeffrey Feliciano said. "I’ve been in the military so long, I’m used to being so independent. I need to get my family under their roof and put one stone at a time.”
Despite this struggle to piece their lives back together, three remnants from the fire are giving them hope.
“A wooden cross [is] still hanging," said Brian Feliciano. “It was in-tact perfectly, and it’s wood, too.”
Jeffrey Feliciano said two other items made it, despite the smoke and flames.
“One of the firemen came out of the house, and he came out with not one, but two Bibles, the one I gave my wife and the one my son gave my wife,” he said.
The cross and two Bibles are two important symbols for this family.
“Maybe to someone else, it might not have the same meaning, but for us, it strengthens our faith, our beliefs in family, in unity,” Jeffrey Feliciano said.
They’re using this faith and this strength to move forward, but Brian Feliciano said his father, a man who served his country for 34 years in the military, and the rest of his family need help.
“They do a lot for everybody, and I think it would be a great time for people to do something for them,” he said.
There is a GoFundMe account set up to help the family recover from this devastating fire. Click here if you wish to donate to that.
Their local VFW is also accepting donations for the family. Contact Carl Hubbard, the Post Commander for VFW 5180, at (334) 833-0090 or (334) 520 - 4095. The VFW is located at 860 Greenburt Road in Fort Mitchell.