Franklin County raising funds to give resident a new home after devastating fire

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 2:36 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2022 at 2:42 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - For over three months, the Franklin County community has rallied around long-time resident Shelia Chambers, who lost her home in a devastating fire earlier this year.

On Jan. 4, 2022, while Chambers was working, she received the call that a fire was ripping through the home she had lived in for 30 years.

“All the way to the house it was heartbreaking because I mean, that’s my home that I’ve been in for so long, and my children were raised there. It was tragic,” Chambers said.

Following the fire, Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith recorded a Facebook Live showing the damage.

“It’s a total loss. There’s no rebuilding this thing or fixing it. I mean it’s shot,” Smith said in the video.

Chambers said only a few pictures of her kids and pieces of clothes were left after the fire.

“It was tragic, but thank God I was able to salvage some stuff and no one can take my memories away. So that’s the good thing,” Chambers said.

In response, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office held a bake sale on March 22.

“She didn’t have insurance and didn’t have anything left. She has had to start over and people are coming to the aid of her. It means a lot,” Chief Deputy Cliff Carroll said.

Shelia lived with friends for a month, then the United Baptist Church in Eastpoint donated a small mobile home for her to live in. The church also held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser.

“We raised $5,000 in my little small church which was awesome,” Chambers said.

On April 9, four members of FCSO will relay race about 30 miles from Carrabelle to St. George Island.

“This community is behind everyone really. It’s a great community,” Chief Carroll said.

All these efforts are to reach their goal of fundraising $80,000 to purchase Shelia a new home on her property in Eastpoint.

“My faith, family, and community is what’s really gotten me through this. I’m just so thankful and blessed for everybody, too many people to name,” Chambers said.

To support Shelia Chambers and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Charity Fund, visit FCSO’s website.

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