Fairhope family loses everything in fire, neighbors step in to help

Baldwin County

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — Wednesday morning, flames wrapped around almost everything Korinell Smith owned. Her home of just five months was engulfed in fire.

“I’m running, screaming my house is on fire help me, help me,” she said.

Smith was just getting out of bed when her son came running into her room. “Mommy my mattress is on fire!”

Her first thought was her children ages 9, 4, 3 and the baby just 2 months old. “I made it to the hallway and I could hear popping and I jumped immediately into action and I was like get out of this trailer! Run outside! Go!”

All that is left now is the charred hull of the place they once called home. “We just stood there and watched it basically burn,” said Smith.

Even as the flames were being doused, neighbors were already busy helping someone they barely knew.

“It hits you in your heart,” said Tasha Finn, who is one of those neighbors. “It’s heartbreaking. You watch a family lose everything. I’ve been here for 28 years,” she said through tears. “We’re all family here.”

Finn’s car is now loaded with donations; clothes, diapers, the Fairhope Police Department donating school supplies.

All of it for a family that is now starting over – but grateful for the family they didn’t know they had. “From the bottom of my heart I hope that if I’m ever able to return the favor I hope I get that chance,” said Smith.

The Red Cross and other local charities are helping the family with temporary housing and a place to store all the donations until they can find a new home.

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