Harrison family looks to rebuild after fire

CADIZ — A local family is trying to recover in the wake of a devastating loss.

The Blanton family lost their home and most of their belongings last week in a house fire.

Sean and Nichole Blanton were on their way to a local gas station to grab some things when Sean received a call from his 11-year-old daughter, Charity, saying that the space heater in the living room was on fire.

“We immediately rushed back to the house,” Sean Blanton said, adding that by the time they arrived, Charity and her sisters, 7-year-old Navaeh and 5-year-old Alexis, had run out of the house along with a cousin.

“They were standing outside crying,” Blanton said. “The front porch was completely engulfed in flames by then.”

After arriving at the house and seeing that his family was safe, Sean called the fire department. Multiple units rushed to the home, battling the blaze in the cold for more than an hour before bringing it under control. Blanton said the department had to return later that night to extinguish a “hot spot” that rekindled. Although no one was injured, the family lost one of their pet dogs and all of their belongings in the blaze.

Sean and Nichole are staying with family friends, and their daughters are staying with their grandfather. A GoFundMe page was started by a family friend, and the family has received donations of clothing, bedding, furniture and more, as well as monetary aid. Sean said another friend is letting him keep the donated goods in a storage unit, and the biggest obstacle now is finding an apartment or house within their price range and will allow them to bring along their pet pit bull dog. Still, he said that even when they have a new home, it can’t replace the memories of a lifetime lost with the house, which originally belonged to Nichole’s grandmother.

“We’ll never replace the momentos we had there,” Sean said, adding some of the possessions lost included Nichole’s grandmother’s green glass collection, pictures of her grandfather in the Korean War, baby pictures and other “stuff that was irreplaceable.” Still, the family is hopeful that things soon will be looking up for them.

“(We) are truly thankful for the donations,” Sean said. “We’re so blessed to have the outpouring of support while we’re trying to rebuild.”

The GoFundMe page for the Blanton family is at www.gofundme.com/p8tez-a-home-for-the-new-year.