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Neighbors use app to help complete strangers after house fire

Neighbors help family after house fire
Published: Mar. 24, 2016 at 2:36 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 23, 2016 at 2:43 AM EDT
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MOORESVILLE, NC (WBTV) - A Mooresville couple lost everything they owned and cherished last month when a fire destroyed their family home.

The couple lost their house, their two dogs, six cats, and all of their belongings in the fire. But thanks to technology and a group of complete strangers, they're rebuilding .

Luckily, Brynne Beaver and her husband weren't home when the fire started in the home they've lived in for three decades.

"We got a phone call around 6:15. They said that our house was on fire," Beaver said. "All we could do is just stand there and that's what we did, we just stood there in disbelief."

Beaver hoped some of her valuables could be salvaged.

"We were hoping it wasn't as bad as it was. But when we started going in the next day, it was," Beaver said.

A stranger who lived less than a mile down the road from the Beavers, Jaime Frederick, witnessed the horrific scene.

"We saw the flashing lights and saw the smoke, so we knew it was a fire," Frederick said.

Though the pair didn't know each other, Frederick instantly wanted to help her neighbor.

"It was that night that I put the post on Nextdoor," Frederick said.

Nextdoor is an app used by neighborhoods to stay connected with one another. Ron Lesniewski is the Nextdoor moderator for their Northbridge neighborhood.

"I saw the post and thought, well that's Jaime, here she is motivating the neighborhood to get it together. It's nice that we notify someone about a bake sale, but this is great, we're going to come to the need of somebody," Lewniewski said.

Within six days, the neighborhood had raised over $2,000 in cash and gift cards for the couple who was forced to start from scratch.

"It gave me faith that people are good. The worlds in such a bad place and when you have people that do that, it makes you reassured that there are good people out there," Beaver said.

Beaver wants to encourage those that gave so much to her. When her home is finally rebuilt, she plans to throw a thank you party for all her new friends.

There are nearly 1,500 Charlotte-area neighborhoods using Nextdoor, and more than 95,000 across all 50 states.

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