Family having trouble bouncing back after fire: It can happen to anyone

Local family desperate after fire destroys home
Published: Jun. 18, 2016 at 12:59 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 18, 2016 at 1:11 AM EDT
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STATESVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Dinner time with their league of little ones had always been Richard and Melissa Barber's daily reminder of a blessed life. But lately it's become the moment they notice their recent misfortune the most.

"I don't understand how we got here, but we're here," Richard Barber said.

With five young children and twins on the way, the couple is doing their best to make a Statesville hotel room feel normal after fire ripped through their Harmony home in April.

Melissa Barber said they were renting the home and didn't have renters insurance. She said the donations poured in at first, but then Richard lost his job.

"Never in a million years did I think the consequences of a fire would be this damaging," Richard said.

Since the fire, the family has slept anywhere they could, including their own car.

A Holiday Inn Express in Statesville has let them stay for free until Monday. After that, the couple doesn't know... and the sound of a ticking clock can't get out of their minds.

"We don't know where to go. We've tapped out every resource," Melissa said.

The fire seems to have taken more than what you can see. It's also robbed a father of his pride.

"I'm a firm believer that the man is supposed to be the provider and protector of a family, but I can't protect them from the consequences of a fire," he said.

While this situation may seem unique, it isn't. Countless families are one disaster away from losing any sense of security they've ever owned.

According to numbers provided to WBTV by the Second Harvest Food Bank, nearly 14 percent of Iredell County's population lives at or below the poverty level. 20 percent of the county's kids do too.

"It can happen to anybody, anytime," Richard said.

One unexpected event is all it takes to change it all for so many. Instantly replacing the comforts of home with whatever they can find.

"I don't know what's next, but we're hoping it's something better than what we're going through now. They deserve it. We deserve it," Melissa said.

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