Fire rips through church pastor's home in Rock Hill

Fire rips through church pastor's home in Rock Hill

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by GREG ARGOS / NewsChannel 36

WCNC.com

Posted on December 5, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 5 at 6:17 PM

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- The Rock Hill Fire Department said a church pastor and his family were displaced from their home after an overnight fire.

Emergency crews said the fire happened off of Waverly Avenue around 2:30 a.m. Monday. The home sustained major fire, smoke and water damage, according to firefighters.

The pastor, Matthew James, his wife and two daughters did not suffer any injuries and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

James says he's blessed that neighbors, friends and church members have come to offer their assistance to his family.

"I don't know what to say about it," said James. 

"Other than to say I wish everyone had this kind of support in their life," he continued.

James says it was his wife that woke up the family around 2:30 a.m.

"My wife is really the hero. She's the one who heard the problem, and sounded the alarm," he explained.

Throughout the afternoon, neighbors stopped by the home. Some provided the family clothes, others cooked breakfast. Neighbor Beth Williams brought boxes so the family could begin to salvage whatever was left.

"Me and my husband decided this year we would not do material things," said Williams between tears.

"And this is why this is more important for me, because I want to help somebody in my church too. And we just felt this need, to do it."

The estimated damage to the home is about $200,000, according to emergency crews. James says his family will stay with relatives as they decide how to move forward.

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