CONCORD, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) – Highland Creek neighbors are getting results as they rally around the two families who lost everything in a devastating fire on Wilburn Park Lane.
All that’s left is bare bones of a structure Jim and Vicki Houghtaling used to call home.
“We’ve been living in Ohio for the last 70 years and we just moved here nine months ago. So the truth is, on the street where we rent, which is Wilburn Park, we hadn’t gotten to know very many of our neighbors, but with the fire, seems like we’ve got about a hundred new friends,” said Jim.
Those new friends showed up on Monday as the fire consumed their home on Wilburn Park Lane.
“They just kept coming up to us and hugging us and telling us how sorry they were for us. They chipped in and got us a bunch of gift cards we got yesterday to help us buy stuff.”
One of the gift cards came with a special message.
“A note from a little four year old by the name of Parker.”
“He sent us a rainbow picture,” added his wife Vicki.
They have to replace everything down to the essentials of clothing and toiletries. Even their car got destroyed.
“My son-in-law got a call from someone yesterday and said to go over to the Kia dealership Hendrick and pick up a free loaner car for as long as you need it,” said Jim.
From the gift cards, to the car, and thousands of dollars raised online, the community is getting results for Jim and Vicki. The couple says they’re overwhelmed with gratitude.
“There’s just not words to express what I’m feeling…We really appreciate all the people who are perfect strangers to us helping out.”
The Houghtalings also thank their daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons for taking them in.
“We originally moved here so that when we got older and may need help that they’d be able to help us. They’re helping us a lot sooner than we thought,” said Jim.
You can help Jim and Vicki through their GoFundMe
Their next door neighbor also lost their home in the fire. Their daughter started this GoFundMe campaign for them.