A family of four in Hendersonville, N.C. lost everything when their RV caught fire Monday morning, local news outlet WLOS reports. Edneyville Fire and Rescue Chief Robert Griffin tells Yahoo Lifestyle it appears the fire started due to a space heater, and that the family was not home when it broke out. When the family returned home, 6-year-old Damon was very worried about whether or not his Halloween costume had been inside.
Captain Tim Griffin of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office was the first on the scene, and spoke with the family’s grandmother (who didn’t live in the RV) while they waited for the fire trucks to arrive. That’s when Damon got involved in the conversation. “The little boy made mention that he sure hoped his Batman costume wasn’t in there,” Captain Griffin (no relation to Chief Griffin) tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “His grandmother looked at me over his head and made the nod that it was in there.”
Damon’s mom, Cayce Burroughs, tells Yahoo Lifestyle everything in the RV was lost, adding that she and her fiancé had been planning to start a handyman service but the tools they were going to use for that company burned up in the RV. Burroughs also posted a Facebook update which laid out all that’s happened to the family.
She writes, “We had to leave our home of 5-plus years because of problem neighbors. Not having anywhere to go we have been staying in a RV beside Mom's which was not big enough for all of us so Austin, Blake and Cole have been staying with their dad during the week and with us on the weekends so I am missing them all the time ...
“This morning while taking Damon to school the RV caught on fire and was gone with everything in it. So where do we go from here?”
Captain Griffin was very affected by the whole situation. “They were living in an RV to begin with and it didn’t look like they had a whole lot and then the camper was a total loss. They lost everything,” he says. “I’ve seen so much bad in my career and I love kids, and it just struck me that this little boy, all he was worrying about was having his Batman costume burn up.”
That’s when Captain Griffin decided to go find another batman costume for Damon. “I didn’t care where I had to go,” he says. “I was going to get this young’un a Batman costume.”
Chief Griffin said he was there when Captain Griffin returned with the costume for Damon. “He was ecstatic,” Chief Griffin says of Damon’s reaction. “First thing he had to do was go put it on.”
“He was obviously really excited, and so was I,” Captain Griffin says. “I said we need all the little Batmans we can get, to help us do our sheriff’s duties. So I told him you get that thing on because we need your help out here.”
Captain Griffin, who has been a law enforcement officer since 1984, said this particular situation really impacted him. “It’s just real tragic,” he says. “I’ve seen countless bad things but this one really bothered me.” He added that he knew it had bothered Chief Griffin too, as the other man decided to set up a GoFundMe for the family — the first time he’s ever done that. “This is a family that did not have much to begin and they seemed to be kind of proud,” Griffin says of why he set up the page. Speaking of Cayce Burroughs he says, “You could tell she was hesitant and didn't want to ask for help, but it was a situation [in which] I felt they could really use it.”
In addition to funds, the GoFundMe page is also requesting clothing, shoes and diapers. “They did not have any insurance and have lost all personal belongings,” Chief Griffin wrote on the page. “They have immediate needs, things such as clothes, diapers and hygiene products.”
Captain Griffin said the Red Cross had helped the family out with housing for the first few days after the fire, but Burroughs noted that things were very up in the air, saying that she didn’t know where her family would sleep tonight, at least “not at this moment.”
One thing she was certain of is that Damon will be wearing his Batman costume to go trick or treating. “Of course,” she says when asked if he’d be wearing his Batman costume on Halloween. “He’s extremely excited.”
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