Fire destroyed a Tega Cay home last week, though no one in the home was injured.
The fire at 4037 Windward Drive started mid-afternoon and forced the Schmehl family to seek temporary shelter.
Diane Woods works with the Tega Cay Fire Department, but also with Tri-County Neighbors Helping Neighbors. The group formed years ago in Tega Cay to help families in need, facing anything from illness to loss from a home fire.
“We’ve already talked to the family,” Woods said the day after the Jan. 9 fire. “We’ve already given some things to them.”
An account for the Schmehl family was set up at the Yadkin Bank on Gold Hill Road. Woods is collecting items at her Professional Insurance Consulting on Rockmont Drive. Because Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a nonprofit, donations are tax deductible.
“Any type of gift cards or money would be best,” Woods said. “There’s nowhere to put household items, things like that.”
The family is staying with friends. There are three adults and two children, including a 5-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl. Woods doesn’t yet know clothes sizes but is working to get more information.
“Money is No. 1,” she said of the family’s needs. “There is a problem in that respect. Clothing is No. 2.”
The fire led to some traffic issues as vehicles were backed up past a nearby traffic circle, near Runde Park. Many were re-routed to the opposite side of the road as multiple units including Tega Cay and Riverview firefighters responded.
“When we got on the scene, the whole far right side of the building was engulfed, second and third floor,” Tega Cay Fire Department Chief Scott Szymanski said.
Firefighters entered through a door, but the ceiling was coming down, so they backed out before going back in and knocking part of it down. They then went through the left side of the home toward the garage. Four people were home when the fire started.
“They all got out,” Szymanski said. “Our first aids took everyone out of the house.”
Szymanski estimated the damage at about $250,000. A cause wasn’t immediately known. Firefighters remained on the scene for some time putting out hot spots.
For more information on how to help the Schmehl family, call 803-370-1988. Donations also can be made at Yadkin Bank, 1738 Gold Hill Road, Fort Mill or Professional Insurance Consulting, 252 Rockmont Drive, building 3, Fort Mill. For donations to the bank fund, mark “Schmehl” in the memo line.