BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - A tragic fire has left a Bay St. Louis family without a home this holiday season.
As they watched their home burn last Tuesday, a FedEx driver happened to be in the right place at the right time to deliver help to them in their time of need.
Seeing the charred remains of her home is tough for Osavine Brown.
“Not a pretty good sight when you lose everything that you own," Brown said. “Whew. This was the master bedroom.”
Last Tuesday, a fire ripped through the Bayside Park home, just days after Brown and her family had moved in.
“I had just signed the lease, and actually I was due to pay my deposit, and this happened, hadn’t even been here two days,” she said.
The fire was sparked by a candle. The flames quickly spread, leaving Brown no choice but to grab her five kids and get out of the house.
Brown’s neighbor John Legier tried to come to her aid.
“I got my hose pipe and come out and started spraying this house down to put this fire out," Legier said. "This house would have been worser than what it is right now because fire was hot and intense.”
However, the fire was still burning throughout the house.
That's when she crossed paths with FedEx driver Corey Smith.
“The FedEx truck was coming down the street, so I flagged the truck down, and I said, ‘Can you call me the fire department?’" Brown said.
“So I immediately called 911 and got the fire department out here and got help out here," Smith said.
“Corey even gave us the jacket off his back to keep the baby warm so that until someone got here to help us,” Brown said.
“I could have been anywhere else, but I was here,” Smith said.
It was a chance encounter that has birthed a new friendship.
Since the fire, Smith and his wife have been busy working with the Bayside Fire Department to collect donations for Brown's family.
Corey Smith and his wife Courtney are willing to help because they know what Brown and her family are going through.
“I was thinking about myself back when my house burned down two years ago, and we had lost everything. So I had to do something,” Smith said.
"No one really understands what a fire does to you and your family until it happens to you,” Courtney added.
Brown and her family are devastated by what they’ve lost but thankful for the blessings that have come along in the aftermath.
“We’ll get you back on your feet. You know we will. I told you the other day, we’re like family now," Courtney told Brown.
They even found some of their Christmas gifts left untouched by the fire.
“That’s awesome. There’s like no damage. Nothing," Courtney said of a found baby doll.
It was a small sign that even from the ashes, this family will rise again with the help of the community.
“I am very grateful, very blessed," Brown said.
Corey Smith has even been nominated for the humanitarian award through FedEx for his efforts to help the family.
If you’re interested in donating, those donations are being collected at the Bayside Fire Department.
Anyone wanting to donate clothing items can also reach out to Courtney Smith for sizing information.