Community rallies together to help young couple after house fire

All that is left of Kate Lewis and Walter Davis' Cairo home is ashes and remnants of their things. (Lexie Petrovic/KRCG 13)

Kate Lewis and Davis Walter just bought their first home together in Cairo in May. On Sunday, they watched it go up in flames.

"We had a fire burning all day long in it," Walter said. "We had been burning wood consistently in it for about a week - it being cold - and hadn't had any problems out of it."

The couple said they had been using their fireplace with no issues for the past two weeks. They went to bed on Sunday night with the fire burning and woke up at 2:30 a.m. to a home filled with smoke.

"When I opened my eyes I couldn't see anything because I was smelling the smoke," Lewis said. "Then I ran into Silus' room and grabbed him out of his crib, and all three of us ran out of the house."

Their one-year-old son, Silus, was sleeping in his room next door. The family all made it out safely, but their pets and their personal belongings did not. Lewis and Walter had to bury their puppy, Blue, and their ten-year-old dog, Nala.

Lewis' sister-in-law made the couple a GoFundMe account to raise money for all they lost. The goal was $5,000, and in two days, they have already surpassed that.

Strangers and local businesses have also donated supplies such as clothing, shoes, medicine and toys. Lewis said the support has been overwhelming.

"Losing absolutely everything you have, it really makes you realize that those kinds of things don't matter," she said. "It's the people and the animals in your life that really are important."

The couple said although everything was destroyed in the fire, one item made it out unscathed.

"When I finally got back over here they said, 'You need to go look back by the tree and look at what we found,'" Lewis said. "The Bible was sitting there and the top of it had a burn mark but the rest of it was perfect."

"I think the thing that hit me the most was in that exact same cabinet, on the shelf below where the Bible and the paperwork was, was all of my tools," Walter added. "I had screwdrivers, hammers, everything, you know just household tools and they were completely destroyed."

Lewis said her family has received help from MU Women's and Children's Hospital as well as Huffman Insurance Group.

"The people that have helped us in this situation, people that we don't even know, they don't even know who we are, we have never met them in our life, and they're giving us the clothes off their back," Lewis said. "That's huge. We have talked about it before, we are going to try to make a difference from this point forward."

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