The family of a woman who lost her home in last week's fire in Sissonville is hoping to raise money to help get her back on her feet.
Sherry Surface, 60, had lived in the mobile home on Happy Hollow Road with her two grandchildren, Alison, 8, and Brian, 17.
The widow adopted the children seven years ago. The family lived in the rental mobile home for about five years when it burned to the ground last week.
Among those who responded were Malden firefighter and chaplain John Appleton, who collapsed at the scene and died en route to Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital.
"Its such a sad, sad tragedy," Surface's sister, Lisa Eplin, said of the firefighter's death and her sister's loss.
Eplin said the family lost everything, including an 8-week-old puppy.
"Brian and some others was picking through the ashes at the house trying to salvage what they could find," Eplin said. "They found the puppy and buried it up there."
Eplin called it a miracle that no one was in the house at the time of the fire. The children were at camp in Putnam County and Surface had gone to the store. She was at the grocery store when she got the call that her house was on fire.
Her son arrived at the house first, Eplin said. Surface "went to pieces" when she arrived, seeing her home engulfed in flames and the fallen firefighter.
Their home, their belongings and Surface's hearing aids and dentures all were destroyed. The family is living temporarily with Surface's son in Poca. Eplin said the family needs everything from clothes to dishes to furniture.
A relief fund was set up for the family at City National Bank. Donations to the Happy Hollow Fire Victim's Fund can be made at any branch of City National Bank.
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