Pantego family loses everything in post-hurricane house fire

Published 6:39 pm Thursday, September 12, 2019

PANTEGO — One Beaufort County family is in need of help after losing everything in a house fire after Hurricane Dorian. The fire broke out Saturday after power was restored to the family’s home in Pantego, according to Erica Morales. She says a power surge to the electrical box in the kitchen is the suspected cause of the fire that cost her and her children all their possessions.

Fortunately, no one was at home when the fire occurred. Morales and five of her children had left Pantego on Thursday. The family had gone visit Morales’ 10-year-old son, Jaydien, who is being treated at a hospital in Butner. The family was staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Durham when they learned of the fire.

“I had texted a neighbor and asked if he would text me when the lights came back on,” Morales said. “He didn’t text me. He called and told me that my house was going up in flames.”

Everything the family owned went with the house. From furniture and clothes to keepsakes and special memories, the fire spared nothing.

“All the kid’s stuff that they made at school,” Morales said. “You keep a lot of their stuff, their report cards and stuff, I don’t have none of it. Their birth certificates, none of it, it’s all gone.”

Morales, who has two sons with autism, says the one of the hardest parts has been the loss of a strict routine. While Jaydien is receiving all he needs at the hospital, Morales’ younger son, Jamison, has had a hard time adjusting.

“We’re trying to figure out how to help him while he’s here, because his whole routine is gone,” Morales said. “Everything that he knew is gone, and now he’s got to figure it all out again.”

Right now, the family is looking for a place to rent near Pantego. Morales says she is dealing with the insurance company currently and will eventually need to return to her job in Engelhard.

“We don’t have nothing,” Morales said. “So anything anyone can help out with would be great.”

As of Thursday, the family was looking at the possibility of a Go Fund Me page to help with expenses. Those wishing to help the family financially or otherwise can call Ronald McDonald House at 919-286-9305.

Donations of the following clothing items are being accepted at the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, through the chamber’s Bright Futures program:

  • Mother — size 22 pants, 3x shirts, size 9 1/2 shoes
  • Daughter — size 18 adult pants, XL shirts
  • Girl — 8 junior pants, large shirts, size 9 shoes
  • Girl — 14/16 kids pants and shirts, 8 1/2 womens shoes
  • Boy — 14/16 pants and shirts
  • Boy — size 10 shorts and pants
  • Boy — 4T or 5T pants and shirts