OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. – A month after a lightning strike and fire damaged nearly every inch of her home, an Olive Branch woman is getting help from the community to restore her house.
“So many people have been so good. We’ve been so blessed,” said Shirley Bennett.
Shirley was home when her house caught on fire. She was able to make it out safely but had no idea how she was going to repair the damage. The 72-year-old lives on a fixed income and has no homeowners insurance.
“We had to throw away practically everything because it was damaged by soot,” said her daughter Lynn Bennett. “I said I’m going to make a video to show what we are going through.”
After Lynn posted the video on Facebook, she began hearing from people who wanted to help.
Nate Hobbs, the owner of Rock Masterz, said his wife showed him the damage he felt moved to do something.
“One thing I’ve always learned is if you give, it’s going to come back,” said Hobbs.
Hobbs and his wife Crystal brought in a small crew. Within a few days, they had rebuilt a kitchen wall and painted all the rooms and ceilings.
“It was mostly smoke damage. Everything in here was smoke damaged. All the ceilings were pitch black,” Hobbs said. “It was through the whole house.”
Hobbs said he would typically charge $7,000-$8,000 for this kind of job. Shirley was overwhelmed by the generosity.
“I could never thank them enough,” said Shirley Bennett.
Others in the community have also donated money. Still, Shirley’s daughter said they need to replace her flooring, light fixtures, and heating and air conditioning unit before her mom can move home.
“I feel homeless. I want to get in the house as soon as I can,” said Shirley.
Her family has set up a GoFundMe page. To help, click right here.