'Hurt in my heart': Pregnant Cumberland County woman loses childhood home in fire, community responds with donations

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C (WTVD) -- When Lacey Gill watched her Gray's Creek home go up in flames on Apr. 13, she was also watching her family's legacy and her childhood memories burn.

"Just to see somewhere that I grew up going down so fast was really traumatizing," said Gill.

Gill says her grandfather built the home when she was just three-years-old, spending the last few years residing there with some family.

On Apr. 13 her mother was plugging in a lamp upstairs when it created a smoky smell. Minutes later, that smoke turned into flames and they all had to quickly rush out of the home.

Gill says everyone got out safely, including her one-year-old daughter and her boyfriend. "Within ten seconds of smoking the whole half, top half of the house was already down."

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Gray's Creek Fire Station 18 and firefighters from Cumberland, Robeson and Bladen Counties tried to put out the fire but the structure was a complete loss. Gill tells Eyewitness News they lost most of their possessions, including all of the supplies for her baby girl she's expecting in July.

"My whole life has been there. So, just the thought of going over there and it not being there and it just being an empty space puts hurt in my heart," said Gill. She still hasn't been back to her property since the fire.

The Red Cross was able to provide the family with a free week at a nearby hotel and the Gray's Creek community has stepped up. They've donated clothing and other essential items to Gill's family.

Some friends have also started a GoFundMe where they've raised nearly $2,500. Gill says they've been stopping by local food banks for some food assistance as well. "We've received some clothes and some toys."

Gill plans to direct some of those monetary donations to purchasing new baby supplies and hopes to find the strength to return to her childhood home to assess the damage.
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