Fire guts Lee County home - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fire guts Lee County home

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – A Leesburg family lost nearly everything they own when a fire swept through their home. They were away on vacation when they got the call.

Friday, they returned to their home on Canal Street to see the damage. Chase and Nicole Fincher just moved into their three bedroom duplex about four months ago. They were away visiting family for an early Christmas, when the grinch snuck into their home in Leesburg and gutted it with fire.

Chase and Nicole Fincher have a whole lot to be thankful for. There's cute little Riley, who wants to be a "Fireman, if I want to. And if I want to be a football player, then I'll be it."

Then there's sweet toddler Mary Beth, and of course, they have each other. But that's about it. "She said I don't want to make you nervous, but your house is on fire, and I said, 'okay', I was really unsure of how to handle it," said Nicole about a phone call she received while on vacation.

And the truth is, she couldn't. They were 8 hours away on vacation when Nicole took that call. "So I stopped and I prayed and I knew that no matter what, God would take care of it."

Friday, Nicole and Chase went back to the Leesburg home they shared.  He said, "It's just a devastation to the Household we've been building up is burnt down."

A computer tower apparently overheated and caught fire. Chase said, "Everything in there is blistered and torn apart. It was an inferno."

The shower curtain, thermostat and carpet all melted. Paint is bubbling on the wall. Light fixtures are now black.  "It was amazing to see the damage that was done. You could tell it really got hot in there."

They are looking to see what can be saved, but most of their belongings, now lie on the front lawn. The kids room, and everything else, is covered in soot. Riley said, "We can't go back right now, 'cause it's all burnt up."

But eventually they'll start all over again. "Those fixer guys are going to just go ahead over there and fix it," Riley said.

And they'll replace those belongings that the fire took away. Nicole said, "Stuff can be replaced and it's not about our stuff. It's about our family being safe and I'm alright with that. I know it's a tough row to go through and we have a lot to do, but it will be alright."

Because remember, they've got Riley and Mary Beth, and each other, a home in their hearts, that even a fire can't burn.

Both Chase and Nicole Fincher are full time students at Darton College. The room where the fire started housed two desks, their computer and some of their college books for next semester.

They did not have renters insurance, so they'll have to start over from scratch. The Finchers are staying with family while their home is repaired.

Want to help them?  You can give them a call at 619-405-4583.

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