BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - WLOX has learned what may have caused a Biloxi home to go up in flames Sunday afternoon. Biloxi's assistant fire chief said it was probably caused by an electrical problem with an appliance in one of the bedrooms.
The fire happened just as the homeowner was preparing to return to work, and her six grandchildren were about to go back to school. Generous people have stepped-in to help the family start all over again.
"I keep telling her it's useless, but she wants to sweep," Anita Seymour commented as she watched her granddaughter sweep the front porch Tuesday.
There was not much to salvage among the charred ruins of Seymour's house on Randall Drive.
"When I look at this I think: Oh God, where do you start?" Seymour said.
One of the toughest losses was all of her grandchildren's school supplies and clothes that were donated by a Baptist church in Ellisville, Mississippi. As word of the devastating fire spread, Seymour's church, the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, agreed to serve as a donation center.
"It's been quite a wonderful response. We've been overwhelmed by calls. We almost had to call in some extra volunteer help just to answer the phones this morning. People have been asking how funds can be donated, what items were needed," said Rev. Robert Wetherington, the church rector.
And the Harrison County School District offered to provide school supplies for the children. Seymour works as a bus driver and teacher's assistant at D'Iberville Middle School.
"And the people have come out. They've been great for us. They've been wonderful," said Seymour. "Because of the generosity of the people, it's been a lot easier. But you're kind of in a daze. You're thinking: What am I going to do next?"
As the family sat down for lunch at a Biloxi soup kitchen, Seymour's 12-year-old grandson showed us one precious item he found in the rubble.
"This is the Holy Bible, which we just got yesterday. Thank God the fire didn't burn it," said Dwayne Donaldson.
It is that faith and the six little faces that keep Seymour going.
"Even with the death of my husband in February, I could have really got down. But I had those children. They brought me back. With this fire, they will bring me back. With God's help and the people's help and these kids keeping me going, we'll do fine," said Seymour.
Seymour also expressed how grateful she is that everyone is safe, although she did lose a dog and a cat in the fire.
The family does not have insurance. The Red Cross put them up in a hotel for three days. Seymour doesn't know where they'll go after that. She's hoping that she can rebuild the house, so the family can move back in the home.