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House Fire Displaces Durham Family

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DURHAM — A Durham family is no doubt glad to have eachother on Christmas morning; still, the holiday is wrapped in sadness. Afire that gutted their home two days before Christmas has forced theAlbert Smith family to relocate to a motel. A faulty furnace was cited asthe cause.

The fire was under way as the Smiths returned home from visitingrelatives. As they got to their street, police and firefighters had itblocked off so they could battle the flames.

Smith, his wife, Edna, and their 6-year-old daughter, Tiffany,discovered that it was their brick ranch house at 5114 Peppercorn Streetthe crews were trying to save.

Tiffany was devastated on several counts: First, she worried that Santawould not be able to find her since her home was destroyed, and second,the first-grader lost her collection of 100 teddy bears, each of whichhad been named. The child asked her father if the teddy bears had burnedup and died in the blaze.

Friends, relatives and strangers have been dropping by with clothes,gifts, toys and money. Smith says every bit of it is much appreciated.

Possessions that were not burned directly were covered in soot andwater. The roof caved in, and Smith says all they now own was what hadbeen riding in the trunk of the car as they drove home.

People interested in helping the Smiths can contact their neighbors,the Buxtons, at 5110 Peppercorn St., Durham, NC 27704.

The Smiths will spend Christmas Day with relatives in Granville County.

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