Family loses RV, home in interstate fire, but good Samaritans take action
Tom, Sharon and daughter Tracy Ely.
The remains of the family's RV and home.
Viewer photo of the fire: @MorganMarie74 on Twitter
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
Tom, Sharon and daughter Tracy Ely were traveling in their RV going south for business when all of a sudden it caught fire and quickly exploded.
"All of our clothes, laptop, desktop computer, notebooks to do business with, photographs and personal things, and had all of our product to do business with." Tom Ely said.
With no home and all their belongings gone, the three had nowhere to go. Then some Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies decided to help out, and began searching nearby hotels for the family to stay.
"The officers went beyond the call of duty, they were getting calls to do other things and they said no we got to finish this," said Dee Hustler, regional director of Civitan International. "They were attempting to get a room and pay out of their own pocket."
During the officer's efforts to get a room for the Elys, at one hotel they ran across members of the Civitan International Club who were at a regional conference. The club found out about the family's dire state and decided to pitch in providing money for a room, clothing and food. What makes it even more unique is the organization specializes in helping people with disabilities, and 35-year-old Tracy has Down syndrome.
"That's our focus and we were just glad we could do something," Hustler said. "I think it says you have to treat people like you want to be treated, and help people in difficult situations and so you never know when it will be you next."
"I'm just overwhelmed and just so thankful that they care so much, and it's just so wonderful that they were here in this hotel having this meeting," Sharon Ely said. "It's a miracle."
This isn't the first time the family has overcome adversities. At the age of two Tracy had open heart surgery, and at ten she was diagnosed with leukemia. The Elys say once again their hardships are turning out good and one they will never forget.
"I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I believe that we have been impacted by this," Tom Ely said. "Our lives are different by meeting these people, and knowing these people are there and their love is real."