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Gulfport family picks up pieces after fire destroys home

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 10:37 PM CST
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A family is working to rebuild after a fire destroyed everything in their home earlier this week in Gulfport, but through it all, they remain optimistic.

Both Bianca Johnson and Alize Williams of Gulfport are happy to be alive after a grease fire engulfed their entire house Wednesday afternoon.

They’re safe, but everything in the house is completely gone, leaving them homeless. The sisters said up to six people lived in the home, however only Williams was present during the fire.

“I think that’s what’s getting to me more, the blame. I knew better and I knew my sister was home. I just wasn’t thinking,” said Johnson.

Johnson left her home Wednesday to get flour, but she left with the stove on with a pot full of grease.

“It was literally like two or three minutes. It was an honest mistake. I just keep asking myself why I didn’t think to cut the eye off. This is common sense that I knew,” said Johnson.

Once she returned to Ganges Street, she said she saw flames that reached the roof of her house, causing all her personal belongings to burn inside.

“I’m literally in the same clothes I wore that day. I don’t have shoes on my feet. Knowing that I don’t have anything now is hard because I have to start all the way over,” said Johnson.

Johnson’s sister, Alize Williams, was able to escape from her window nearly just seconds from not surviving.

“As I got out of my window my room went in flames. I’m thankful that I’ve made it out and even more thankful that my kids wasn’t here because I would have still been dead trying to get them out of the house,” said Williams.

The two said firefighters took up to two hours to put out the blaze while spraying the roof and sides of the house with water.

Despite all the tragedy that family members here faced, they say keeping high faith is what’s helping them cope.

“This was God telling me it’s time to do bigger and better things. This was him pushing me and letting me know that it’s time to move on. It’s time for me to do better, and I will do better. This motivated me to go back to college and start all over. I won’t let this break me,” said Johnson.

Although the duo now looks at the home with a painful reminder, they said their bond reaching new heights is the real treat.

“This brought me and my sister’s relationship closer. Just because for a time we drifted apart. Now, we realize ow much it means for us to be as close as we are. Because one day we could lose each other, one day we will. It has us thinking make the best time of what we have now,” said Johnson.

You can help by donating to the sisters’ GoFundMe page here.

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