CREEDMOOR, N.C. (WNCN) – A Franklinton community is stepping up to help a family less than 24 hours after they lost everything to a house fire.
Heather Pendergrass is a science teacher at Franklinton High School. She’s lived in the home with her husband and three children for the last seven years.
“There were a lot of people there trying to save my house and they just couldn’t do it,” Pendergrass said.
Her 16-year-old son, Connor Blalock, was inside at the time. He was home sick from school Tuesday afternoon when the fire started.
“I woke up to a big pop and the thought of ‘why is it so hot in my room,'” Blalock said.
He called 911 and managed to go back into the home to save the family’s dog, but not the cats.
“I’m really sorry mom. I couldn’t get the cats. I said ‘you don’t even like the cats.’ And he said but Morgan does. That’s his little sister and I don’t want her to be hurt,” Pendergrass said.
“If you think about it, they’re just animals but they’re part of our family,” Morgan Blalock, Connor’s sister said.
The family lost everything, but they’re keeping perspective.
“The sun came up today and my son was still here to see it. So, in the grand scheme of what could have happened, (it) didn’t, and that means more than a collection of photographs or anything else,” Pendergrass said.
Pendergrass has been a teacher at Franklinton High School for the last six years. She even went to work Wednesday.
She said the community, her students, parents, coworkers, local churches, and neighbors have all reached out wanting to help.
“It’s extremely humbling and overwhelming that, in this day and age, when we think everybody is out for themselves and there’s that many people that love you,” Pendergrass said.
They’re staying with family while they try to find a new place to live. Her oldest daughter has also started a GoFundMe.
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