PERQUIMAN'S COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) - Imagine being at work when you get a call that your house is on fire. It happened to a Perquiman's County man. Ironically, he's a firefighter.
As a firefighter, Chris Harris has seen his share of burnt beams, collapsed roofs and destroyd memories. But for him, this fire strikes closer to home – because it's his.
It was Tuesday and Harris was working at his station on the Coast Guard base in Elizabeth City. Around 4 p.m., he got the call that his house was on fire and his chief sent him home.
"I could see the smoke 10 or 12 miles away, hoping that it wasn't my house," Harris told WAVY.com.
But it was. Fortunately, Harris' wife and two children weren't home when the fire sparked, and the only loss of life was the longtime family cat. Everything they had is gone.
"My wife took it really hard yesterday, you know, crying, and she had all the EMS people around her, I just had to remind her that we're alive and kids are alive."
Chris' Chief Jesse Halderman was there. He told WAVY.com that during all the commotion, one of the firefighters working the blaze was overcome, possibly due to the heat. Chris, while watching his home burn to the ground, stopped and assisted that fireman.
"Very impressed to see him, not to think of his own problems there, at that time and think about someone else that needed assistance," Halderman said.
But now, fellow firefighters are hoping to get Harris some assistance in the form of items or monetary donations for what is replaceable.
"We're never gonna get those pictures back and get the home videos back, but everything else, I can buy a couch, get couches, chairs…everything materialistic," Harris said.
Anyone wishing to help can call 252-335-6257. A benefit will also be held May 24 at Groupers Waterfront Restaurant in Elizabeth City at 6:30 p.m. A suggested $10 donation will be accepted at the door.
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