Joyce and Bill Correll were not injured in the fire, but it charred half of the Catawba Street house they called home for 45 years.
Now, neighbors are coming to their aid as they try to salvage what's left of their home.
The Corrells were preparing to move to a retirement community in the new year.
"I think I was in shock," said Joyce. "It wasn't until later in the evening that I started getting kind of shaky."
The couple's son was grilling on the carport when the fire sparked.
"All of a sudden, it fell against the house, and he said 'the house is on fire,'" said Joyce.
It quickly spread to the house as neighbors called 911.
The flames damaged half the home and totaled one of their cars before firefighters were able to put out the fire.
Now, just days before Christmas, the Corrells are salvaging what they can.
"We had a stained glass window from the church as a skylight in our dining room, and I couldn't even find pieces of it," said Joyce. "It's gone. That breaks my heart."
Neighbors wasted no time rushing to their aid bringing clothes and collecting donations.
"We just felt that since it was in the neighborhood that we should do a nice thing," said neighbor 12-year-old Grace Cox.
Grace hopes the gesture will bring some comfort to a family who has been part of this community for decades.
"With all the neighbors' support, I just feel wonderful," said Joyce. "I mean, this is just unbelievable what the neighbors have done for us. They just keep coming up with stuff that surprises me."
Pullen Memorial Baptist is also assisting the family. The pastor told ABC11 that they are accepting donations at the facility on Hillsborough Street.
In the meantime, the Corrells are staying with neighbors until they can get a motel room.