Local News

Fire May Leave Chapel Hill Family Homeless for the Holidays

Posted November 27, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— A fire left a Chapel Hill family's house of 11 years unlivable, and now they're having a tough time finding a new home for the holidays.

Theresa Wilson has had the same table since her kids were little. And it's where her family would have had Thanksgiving dinner, if not for a fire last week that made the house unlivable.

The fire started where her husband was cooking, and left many of her belongings damaged or destroyed.

"All my clothes are messed up," Wilson explains. "They smell like smoke, all my dishes, all my appliances, they've been destroyed."

But the trauma of a fire in her home is only the beginning. She now has no electricity, no gas or hot water, and no place to go.

Section Eight public assistance is providing $664 a month for rent, but Wilson can't find any place to accept it. And time is running out.

"I can't find anywhere to go," she says, "and I have to be out of here by Monday."

Wilson's daughter has called dozens of apartments and rental agencies recommended by the county but with no success.

They all told Sabrina Farrar "no, or call back on Monday. They didn't have anything available."

For now, Wilson will spend the night in her house with a kerosene heater that's been doubling as a stove. She'll be packing anything that can be salvaged.

And she'll be praying, and crossing her fingers that something will work out.

Her daughter will be too. "I'm hopeful something will come around for them," Farrar says.