Community rebuilds fire damaged home for Biloxi grandmother

The Home Builder's Association put in more than $40,000 to renovate the home for Anita Seymour. (Photo source: WLOX)
The Home Builder's Association put in more than $40,000 to renovate the home for Anita Seymour. (Photo source: WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A Biloxi woman and her six grandchildren are finally moving back home, after losing everything in a house fire last year. Surrounded by three of her six grandchildren, Anita Seymour graciously thanked Greg Smith, who is the president of the Home Builder's Association, for all the hard work his organization has done to put her back into her home.

"We've spent numerous hours and quite a bit of money rebuilding the house. We started with the studs and everything else was removed. We put partial roof on it and new air conditioning unit and everything inside the house," said Smith.

When Seymour's house burned down last August, she had recently lost her husband; she was taking care of her six grandchildren, and no longer had homeowner's insurance. Soon after the fire, one of her grandchildren was in an accident.

"When her grandson was hit by a car out in the street, and had to go to Ochsner Hospital for about two weeks, we knew this lady just needed some help," said Smith.

From day one, community members stepped up to lend a helping hand to the overwhelmed grandmother.

"I should know. I'm a Christian. God brought all these people together to help us and to help these six children that live here," said Seymour.

The Home Builder's Association president says they put in more than $40,000 to renovate the home. Almost everything is brand new except the hardwood floors the late Mr. Seymour installed himself.

"This is the only thing we could keep from him, so it means everything that we could keep the floors," said Seymour.

Seymour says she has learned many lessons from this tragic event, but the most important thing she has learned is to make the best of a bad situation.

"My husband was real sickly and God chose to bring him home. The house burned, but we could have burned in it and we did not. Material things are just material things," said Seymour.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.