‘Life’s memories’ burned with man’s home

Published 4:45 pm Monday, March 21, 2011

Roy Wilson’s home on Smith Dairy Road and a life of memories burned March 13. (photo by Barbara Tilly)

Roy Wilson said he never imagined ever receiving a call like he did Sunday, March 13.
His girlfriend Sherry Lance was on the phone with him as she drove up to their home on Smith Dairy Road in Columbus, where she discovered firefighters from across the county battling a blaze that had consumed the home.
“It was my life … my life’s memories were in that house,” Wilson said.
Wilson hired someone to build the home just a few years after returning from active duty in Vietnam. He said he and his ex-wife moved in when their son was just 9 months old.
Wilson raised his kids in that home and said it’s hard to imagine the physical traces of those memories lying in what are now ashes.
Seeing it, Wilson said, was “just terrible.” By the time Wilson arrived firefighters had all but extinguished the fire with hot spots left to eliminate.
Wilson said the fire report stated 13 calls were made to 911. One man and his wife apparently even ran up to the home to beat on the doors when they saw a truck in the driveway.
Luckily, Wilson said, there was no one inside.
Wilson and Lance are currently staying in a hotel in Spartanburg until they are able to find a new place to live.
Wilson said people have offered to donate appliances, household items and other necessities to them, but for now they just don’t have anywhere to put them. Lance said she knows it’s been hard on Wilson to accept help from others.
“Anyone will tell you Roy has never asked for help from anyone,” she said. “He’s the one usually giving someone else the shirt off his back.”
Lance and Wilson said clothes are actually a lot of what they need right now. A fund has also been set up at Mountain First Bank in Columbus for anyone wishing to make a donation to help the couple.

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