Local News

Christmas Comes Early For Family Left Homeless After Fire

Posted December 17, 2004

— A family that lost everything in a fire this week just got a holiday wish.

On Monday, six adults and eight children lost their eastern Wake County mobile home in a fire. No one was hurt, but all of their possessions were destroyed.

After hearing the family's story during a fund-raiser on a radio station, Jim Malerba said he wanted to do something to help. He rented a house for the family to live in until they are able to get back on their feet.

"It's better to give than receive," he said. "I just reacted, and I just wanted to do what I can. I'm just a regular guy. I listen to God and it's all him. It ain't me."

"This was a big lift off my chest. I feel so good. I'm going to be able to have something to call home again," fire victim Tyler Tant said.

Malerba may have some sense of what the family is going through. His own home was struck by lightning in May.

"Our youngest daughter was home and if she wasn't home to call the fire department, we would've lost everything," Malerba said.

Others in the community have also been moved.

"I have been given everything from money, toys, clothes, food, furniture, beds, sheets, towels. It's just been an outpouring of support from the community I could have never imagined," Tant said.

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