Greenville Home Fire Survivors Tell their Red Cross Story

Story and photos by Bobbie Staten

Vera Leaby in her new home after the fire.

Vera Leaby in her new home after the fire.

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words and the quick-thinking actions of a disabled twelve year old boy were what saved the Leaby family when their house caught fire.  On December 14, 2013, Vera Leaby’s son, Christopher, alerted the family that something was wrong even before the smoke detectors went off. Thankfully, the family escaped the home uninjured but they were soon struck with the realization that they had nowhere to go.

Mrs. Leaby remembers Red Cross volunteers arriving on the scene within minutes after being called by the fire department.  She has always helped her community and when she needed help she got it from the kind folks of the Red Cross.

Red Cross workers met with the residents and provided them with assistance for food,  clothing (including seasonal garments), shoes, comfort kits, and also made sure the family of four had a safe place stay.  The family also has close ties to friends, church and school in the community who showed an outpouring of support after the fire.

“I want the whole wide world to know about what the Red Cross of Pitt County has done for me and my family,” said Mrs. Leaby. “They were kind and gentle and did not ask a lot of questions.”  She was very grateful for all the services that her family received from the volunteers of the Red Cross who she now considers as friends for a life.

Mrs. Leaby sends many thanks to all those who continue to donate to the Red Cross who helped her family recover from a devastating home fire. “I just want to tell everybody about what the Red Cross did for my family,” said Mrs. Leaby.rco_blog_img_vera

The Leaby family’s final wish is to relocate the family dog, Brawny, who also survived the fire, from the old address to their new home. They make a few trips a week for feeding and caring for their pet but he is in need of proper fencing and a dog house in their new home.  The Red Cross is working to provide referrals for additional services to aid them in this process.


One Response

  1. Thank you PA Director Autum for posting this interview for me on Blog.

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