Neighbors help family recover after devastating fire

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MAUMELLE, Ark. – A Maumelle family is struggling to start over after their home suddenly caught fire Thursday morning. But the kindness of strangers is helping to see them back on their feet.

The night of October 14th began as usual for the Pitts, a family of 5 who have lived in Maumelle for years. But just after 4:00 A.M., everything changed in a flash. “We heard a loud pop,” Cassandra “Casey” Pitts remembered. A fire had broken out on their back deck; the family believes a faulty electrical outlet was the cause, after it exploded in the night. Soon, their home was engulfed. “It was just an absolute inferno,” said Ryan Pitts, who was closest to the flames when the fire broke out.

Close friend Britney Harcourt was one of the first on scene. “We just rushed around the house, got together as quickly as possible,” Harcourt said. She helped get the Pitts’ sons to school, and was there as the family realized they had lost almost everything in the blaze. “I never in a million years thought that we were going to basically lose every single thing,” Casey Pitts said. Harcourt posted some photos of the damaged home on Facebook and soon, the community came together to help. “So many people shared it, so many people commented, and so many people messaged me that I realized it’s a good opportunity to help them with something,” she said. A GoFundMe page was started to raise money for the Pitts, and that page has received almost double the initial goal in just a few days. “All the surrounding communities really cared about even a family that they had never met before,” said Harcourt.

Community members even drove out to the home to drop off food, clothing, and blankets – dozens of items arriving for a family overwhelmed and grateful for the kindness of strangers. “I don’t even have the words to describe how amazing the amount of support has been,” said Casey Pitts. Ryan Pitts added, “every little thing means so much when you don’t have anything.” As the Pitts begin to rebuild and start their life anew, the only thing they can say is thank you. “We really appreciate everything that people have been doing,” Harcourt said. “It means a lot.”

The family is now looking for a temporary rental in the Maumelle area. For those interested in donating or helping the Pitts, the link to the GoFundMe page is here.

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