May 4—A fire raged through
The blaze destroyed the back porch of the one-story building that a retired Hollandsworth, 63, had called home for three years after she moved back to
"I have been blessed with a family that is feeding me and taking care of my animals," Hollandsworth said. "I just heard about another fire in
Hollandsworth's home was insured for fire, which started in the furnace in the backyard, and she intends to renovate and restore power and water to the dwelling with that. However, the amount of the insurance payment is uncertain at this time, and she has been accepting help, including a
"Once the insurance company settles the check, then I turn around and say, 'I have x amount of dollars, what needs to be done?' " Hollandsworth said. "A new furnace, new appliances, new cabinets. My floors, electrical, duct work. I don't think we'll be able to put the back porch on because I don't think we'll have the funds to."
The biggest damage is from the smoke, the scent of which is very prominent inside the home, and is what the insurance company is trying to banish before settling the amount. The new roof — that she'd installed last year — now has holes in it from where the firefighters cut it out to funnel out the smoke during the fire and make it easier to find Hollandsworth's animals.
"I know I was hysterical because I was saying, 'My cats, my cats!' and I really wasn't concerned about my house," she said. "At the time I really wasn't thinking that they were jeopardizing themselves coming in here."
Hollandsworth has some tips for other homeowners. She said that it was the careful documentation of her possessions — many of which were sentimental — that will save her from being unable to rebuild.
"The biggest thing that people should realize is to go through your house. Videotape it. Even if you can't afford a lot of insurance, just take the videos," Hollandsworth explained as she walked through the house to a room of arts and crafts. "Like here, for instance, I'm going to get partial compensation because they aren't all destroyed. Now, if you have video and you have pictures and you save your receipts, that's what helps you recoup your loss. A lot of people don't do that."
Hollandsworth said that the
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