Restaurant owners struggling to get back on their feet after home fire

Restaurant owners struggling to get back on their feet after home fire
A Southport restaurant owner sits in the Chapel Hill burn center after suffering injuries from a mobile home fire. (Source: Tawan Turino)
A Southport restaurant owner sits in the Chapel Hill burn center after suffering injuries from a mobile home fire. (Source: Tawan Turino)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The doors at Forget Me Not Thai Hibachi Restaurant in Southport have been closed for weeks and it likely won't re-open anytime soon. A mobile home on the restaurant owners' property shifted priorities.

"Anytime I want to talk (about the home) I cannot control my tears," Tawan Turino said as she gazed at what's left of her Boiling Spring Lakes home. "This was everything for us. We saved money for a long time."

Turino said the mobile home fire started around 6 a.m. on May 25 after she heard a loud "boom" from inside the home. Turino remembered seeing her husband, Aldo, sprint from the home with his legs engulfed in flames.

Aldo was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center and then the burn center in Chapel Hill. The medical bills have piled up for the Turino family and Tawan claimed a crook made her pay for carrying $9,000 in her purse by stealing it when she was sleeping in the ICU.

"I want to repair my mobile home but people take my money when I'm sleeping," Tawan said. "It's the last money we have."

The money was supposed to go toward a new home for the couple who just bought their trailer two months ago.

"We have only each other. We don't have family here," Tawan said through tears. "You have mom. You have dad. You have people, but me, I only have two people."

Make it three. A loyal customer decided to make it her mission to help the couple recover and pay the bills.

"They've been serving seven days a week for this community," Teresa Synakowski said. "Lots of people come here so if they serve seven days a week for you guys, let's help them out because they need a place to live."

Synakowski says her GoFundMe for the couple has raised nearly $2,500 and is calling on fellow customers and businesses to pitch in.

"We want to make sure they have some kind of start after this awful ending."

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