Wake firefighter ignores own loss to help storm victims

Posted April 21, 2011 4:18 p.m. EDT
Updated April 21, 2011 6:34 p.m. EDT

— Volunteer firefighter Tim Grant has spent the days following last Saturday's storms checking on people in his neighborhood off Forestville Road.

One of the 25 tornadoes that ripped across eastern North Carolina left a trail of destruction in the northeast Raleigh neighborhood.

"These are my neighbors, and all of these people around here are my family," Grant said about tending to the needs of people whose homes were damaged or destroyed.

Grant himself is among those people, but the loss of his own home doesn't deter him from looking after others.

"This is my community. This is my home," he said.

He was responding to calls after the tornado blew through Raleigh when he learned his home had been hit.

"I've never seen a building move that far, and it still held together," he said, noting the house was blown off its foundation. "Most everything that's left is shot."

Grant said his first reaction was actually one of relief – his wife and children weren't home at the time. His son is also a firefighter who was working late Saturday.

"Here's a man who's basically lost everything he has, and his first reaction was, 'It is a house. My family's safe, and there's a lot of people here that need help more than me,'" said Lee Price, assistant chief of the Wake-New Hope Fire Department.

Grant said the home was insured, and he and his family are staying with friends for now.