LOCUST GROVE, Ga. - Fire destroyed a family’s Locust Grove home and now efforts are underway to help the couple and their foster children. Taylor Long, a dispatcher with the Spalding County Sheriff's Office, told FOX 5 that her family was asleep when she smelled smoke and burning plastic. She sent her husband Ken to investigate.
"He’s yelling at me the house is on fire, get out," she said.
The Long's had only minutes to evacuate their home with two foster children and their pets. Fire swept quickly through the house and destroyed everything.
Ken and Taylor Long and a photo of her evacuating the home on Oct. 26
They left with just clothes on their backs. And they’ve recently learned their insurance will not cover the replacement of all their belongings and even their Christmas is in jeopardy.
"Unfortunately, where the fire started is where all the presents were and the holiday stuff," she said. "We’ve tried to dig through it and it’s just a mess.’
Photo of inside the Long’s fire-damaged home
Taylor‘s colleagues with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office have organized a fund drive and a clothing collection to help her and her family. They are asking for the public's help.
"I can honestly say that we always receive support from our local community." Sheriff’ Darrell Dix said. "We have people who stop by here with gifts for officers and stuff like that and a lot of that is unsolicited. But now we are asking for the community’s help, particularly to help one of our own."
And if you think a devastating fire couldn’t get any worse, a thief stole the Long’s camping trailer that they were going to live in while the house is rebuilt.
"The person that we arrested had cut everything off of it and the only thing we were able to recover was the frame," Dix said.
The sheriff’s office has started a Go Fund Me Page to help the Long Family and they are collecting clothing as well.