Gold Star wife who lost husband to lung cancer staying strong for sons after fire destroys home

Tom George Image
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Gold Star wife and young sons rebuilding after fire destroys home
Gold Star wife and two sons rebuilding after massive fire destroys their Harnett County home. The family's dog and two cats also died in the fire.

HARNETT COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A North Carolina Gold Star wife with two young sons is left without a home after it was gutted in a fast-moving fire in Harnett County Tuesday afternoon.

The home was located near the Carolina Lakes Golf Course on a lake in Sanford.

Luckily, Charlotte Scherr wasn't home at the time, and neither were her two sons, Sebastian and Vincent, aged 8 and 5, who were in school.

Although fire crews arrived within minutes, the home was destroyed and their 5 pets, including dog Olaf and 2 cats were killed.

It's another trauma for the family still coping with another family death from a few years ago. Charlotte's husband, David Spadell passed away in 2021 from lung cancer.

An Army veteran of 30 years with overseas tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, David's lung cancer diagnosis was tied to burn pit exposure from his military service.

Charlotte is now working to move forward and stay strong for their two sons.

"I'm very pragmatic. And analytical. And I kind of just have my moments. I was a big ball of crying yesterday. I couldn't contain my emotions."

She hopes to salvage what she can, but not much made it. "The entire second floor has collapsed onto the first."

Scherr is hoping to find her husband's urn but all that's left could be the metal tag inside.

"Maybe we'll get lucky that since it was already ash, there will be remnants of the ash that maybe we can put into a container," Scherr said.

Veteran David Spadell passed away in 2021.

All she can do is try and move forward with the life she and David built together.

"We'll just deal with it, and build back better and my little boys will help design our house and we'll just make the most of the next chapter."

Family loses pets in house fire

Thankfully, Charlotte has a great support system, she has support from the VA and military community, and her parents live across the street. Because of that, Charlotte the kids will be able to go there and not have to change schools.

Two of Charlotte's neighbors were also hit by the fire, but only got minor damage to their siding.

The community is also coming together to support Charlotte and her sons. They are also collecting donations by mail at 163 Summer Creek, Sanford, NC, or in person at the Lakes Tavern in Sanford.