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Old House Gets New Life; Family Gets New Home

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COATS, N.C. — Volunteers from area churches are lining up to make an old vacant house livable again after a fire destroyed the childhood home of a Coats man.

That fire that caused a lifetime of memories to go up in smoke will forever be in Graham Stone's mind.

"My daughter came in and said, 'Daddy, Daddy, help me, help me,'" Stone said.

His 4-year-old grandson was playing with a cigarette lighter when the house caught fire. Now, the house he lived in since he was 4 is gone.

"I was raised here. My mom and daddy worked might hard for it," Stone said. "I didn't want to see it burn plumb up."

The Stones had no insurance. Stone was planning to buy a little lumber at a time and slowly rebuild.

Little did he know, the answer to his prayers was just a few miles down the road -- a vacant house more than 50 years old.

The owner donated it. Local companies donated about $30,000 in materials, and volunteers are renovating it before they move it to the site of Stone's old house next week.

"We'll go over the outside with vinyl siding, put in replacement windows and cover everything," said Tim Penny with Coasts United Methodist Church.

The house also needs work on the inside, as well, including new plumbing, a new electrical system and new walls.

But to Stone, it already looks like heaven.

"It's very special," Stone said."It's not home, but it's something we can make home."

The family hopes to move in by Christmas, but it still need volunteers to help get the house in livable condition.

Donations can be made payable to Coats United Methodist Church Re: The Cornerstone Project 288 E. South St. Coats, N.C. 27521

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