Community steps up for woman who lost everything in fire - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Community steps up for woman who lost everything in fire

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

One week ago Linda Toole woke up around 2 a.m. to the smell of smoke in her rented home.

Her boyfriend was asleep on the couch.

"I opened the door and the flames were four feet high and very scary trying to figure out how we was gonna get out," she recalled.

A space heater left running caused the fire.

She has a smoke detector but forgot to put in a new battery.

"The fire marshal said we were lucky to get out when we did," Linda recalled.

Linda's husband died three years ago.She said the hardest part of the fire for her is what she can't get back, like pictures of her family.

Staff at the Alzheimers Outreach Center shifted gears to help one of their own when they heard about the fire.

"When she called us Friday morning she had the clothes on her back, she had shoes, [but] she didn't have a coat," said Virginia Griffin with the center. "Even her pocket book got burned up.

Linda had literally lost everything.

But the center tapped into their downtown church partners for help, and donations started coming in.

"It's really wonderful what people will do," said Griffin. "The social media has been a real big part of it."

Linda will stay with a friend until she finds a place of her own. She is grateful they made it out alive.

"The Lord woke me up. He has a purpose for me. I don't know why, but he does," she said.

The Alzeimers outreach center in Albany is a non-profit organization that can always use donations and volunteers.

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