Greenville resident loses everything in house fire

Published 3:37 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2023

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Last week, Sheliah Vinson along with her son Gray and their three pups, a Yorkie, a German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd, fled their home in the early morning as it burned to the ground with all of their possessions inside. 

Vinson, who is currently an insurance agent at Alfa Insurance in Greenville, lost her grandparents’ home, the one they built, and all of the memories that went along with it. Her niece Jana Paulk, who Vinson is presently living with, said despite the tragedy of losing the family home, she is just grateful Vinson and her son are safe. 

“We had a lot of Christmases, Thanksgivings and everything in that house,” Paulk said. “Many memories. My uncle painted a lot and everything that he had painted burned, along with old family pictures and sentimental stuff. But, we’re just so happy she’s here and okay.”

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Paulk said the fire supposedly started from the water heater. It was very old and there may have been wiring issues. According to Paulk the fire marshal is planning to investigate further. 

Reflecting on the morning of the fire, Paulk said it was a miracle they all made it out unscathed. 

“They lost everything,” Paulk said. “They lost all of their clothes, phones, belongings, I mean just everything. Everything that they loved. They escaped with only themselves and the dogs. And they didn’t think they were going to get the dogs out. They had to crawl in a window to get them. It’s a miracle they all got out.”

Lane Simmons, pastor of The First Assembly of God, said the church is hoping to be able to have a fundraiser for Vinson soon to help in the rebuilding of her life. 

“She has come numerous times to the church,” Simmons said. “We just felt like we at least want to try to reach out and show some kindness and compassion.”

Currently for any who are willing and able to help Vinson can send funds to Paulk’s accounts at the following: PayPal @janapaulk, Venmo @Jana-Paulk-1 and CashApp @$JanaPaulk. For in person donations please see Kimmie Plant at Tayla and Pearl’s Attic Finds.