Back from the ashes: Community helps woman recover from loss of home | News | The Press and Standard

by | October 5, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: October 4, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Ruffin resident Cindy Cummings has a lot of helping hands putting her life back together after a Sept. 27 fire heavily damaged her residence on Double Churches Road.
In the hours following the blaze, Cummings’ family members established a Go Fund Me campaign to raise funds to help her with her immediate needs.
By the afternoon of Oct. 1, had generated donations totaling $3,356.
As the flames were damaging her residence and turning her life upside down, Cummings was at work.
Although many in the area might not know her name, they might recognize her smiling face. For over 10 years she has worked as one of the greeters at the Walterboro Walmart.
At 3:05 p.m. on Sept. 27, Colleton County Fire-Rescue was notified of the fire when a neighbor noticed flames coming from the roof of the home at 413 Double Churches Road. The first fire engine on the scene found heavy fire conditions on the west side of the single-story home. The roof over the garage had already collapsed.
Cummings raced home from work after learning of the fire, but arrived to find her home engulfed in flames.
Fire crews made an aggressive interior attack and stopped the spread of the fire approximately halfway through the residence. The fire had already reached the attic, where firefighters used ladders to reach the spreading flames.
The fire was under control within 25 minutes. A search of the building found no occupants; however, two canines perished in the fire. Firefighters buried Cummings’ two dogs, Brownie and Blondie, for her.
After the fire, Cumming’s daughter, Melissa Craven, of Beaufort arrived to help her mom with the arduous task of going through what is left, looking for anything salvageable.
The family, according to the Go Fund Me posting, would like to thank the courageous first responders for their compassion and professionalism during and after the fire.
The fire appears to have started in the area of the electrical panel in the garage then moved into the attic from the garage. The parts of the home not destroyed by the flames suffered smoke, heat and water damage.
Fire units were on the scene for four hours.

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