On Saturday evening, soon-to-be six year-old Aaron Walker was opening the presents he’d gotten at his birthday party earlier that afternoon, when tragedy struck. His family’s house on Wanegarden Court in Germantown caught fire.
The fire happened at 20004 Wanegarden Court at about 8:00 pm Saturday, March 28 and consumed much of one exterior wall of the two-story, one-family home. The house suffered more than $100,000 in damage. The accidental fire started in the chimney and extended into the walls on the first and second floor, as well as the attic of the house.
The Walker family -- Becca and Adam, and their two young sons – Aaron (who turns six-years-old today, April 1) and Aiden, who is three, all escaped unharmed to safety, lost most of their possessions and temporarily lost their house as a result of the fire.
Once Becca Walker’s friend Audrey Seymour had heard about the fire the following day, she knew she wanted to help her friend. The Seymours and the Walkers have been friends since the families met while their oldest boys played together in the infant room of Peppertree Children’s Center in Germantown.
“I was just in shock,” said Audrey Seymour. “This never happens to people that you know. I didn’t know what we could do to help them. There isn’t a manual of ‘How to Help Someone After Their House Burns Down.’ I noticed on FaceBook a lot of people were asking, ‘What can we do?’”
Seymour, who is a former Germantown resident now living in Potomac, had an inkling of what to do, she started doing some research and decided to start a GoFundMe.com site that would allow friends and family to donate money to the Walkers to help them in their time of need.
“Because the Walkers are very loved,” wrote Becca’s friend Audrey on the GoFundMe.come site, “friends and family have been showing an outpouring of support by offering guest rooms to sleep in, warm clothes for the boys, and other basic necessities. Many more have been wondering what they can do to help. This is one of the best, and easiest, ways to help them rebuild.” In just two days, the site has raised over $6,000
Becca Walker said she is overwhelmed at the response, “Our friends and family have been fantastic. I am just amazed at how wonderful everyone has been.”
The Walkers are staying with family in Germantown for the time being. “We will be with my family until the insurance company can find us a suitable place to stay.” She said the insurance company estimates that it would be six months to year before the house can be rebuild and the Walkers can move back to Wanegarden Court. “The insurance adjuster was just there, the house is not a total loss but many of our possessions are ruined by water or smoke from the fire.”
Anyone wishing to contribute may do so by following the link.
Photo credit Yolanda Parker.