Local News

Durham Family Rebuilds After Fire

Posted July 11, 2001

— There is no doubt that a house fire is devastating. You can lose everything in an instant. Even if you are lucky enough to get out safely, the road to recovery can be difficult. One Durham family is trying to walk that road.

We all have dreams, but last week, Lisa Perry's dreams were shattered when her rented home caught on fire.

"We're basically on our own and we're taking it day to day," she says.

"This was the last phone call I expected to get. I wasn't expecting them to say 'Mom, your house burned down,'" Perry says.

The house had been Perry's gem. She found it months ago, tucked away in a quiet Durham neighborhood.

"I was blessed to find it. I pay $550 a month in rent," Perry says.

She is raising three kids on her own and also takes care of a sister and her kids.

But Perry is used to struggling, because she has been homeless before.

"We're just getting on our feet. I'd been homeless. So we'd been staying with folks and living just pillar to post," Perry says.

"It's overwhelming because I have to keep (my children) going; I have to stay motivated to keep a smile on my face," she says.

Now, with little left, the family faces an uncertain future.

"We had dreams. I had already plotted out drinking tea in the back yard with my friends, but now, I have nowhere to drink tea," she says.

Nowhere to drink tea, nowhere to call home. But Lisa has the one thing that matters most: family.

"We're just trying to stay on one course. We're gonna stay together," she says.

Perry had been on a rent to own program and hoped to buy the house in the next few years. Currently, the Perry family is staying in a hotel until they can find a new place to call home.


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