Couple gets help after home burns

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 14, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
GRANITE QUARRY — As Nate Miller and Kari Shepherd sifted through the charred remains of their home Thursday, they were more gracious than grieving.
“I guess we’re going to have a fresh start now,” Shepherd said.
After a fire gutted the couple’s mobile home at 104 Dominion Drive, friends and family went to work collecting donations.
“The amount of people helping us is unreal,” Miller said.
Shepherd agrees.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “Even people we don’t know are helping.”
Miller said although he has insurance on the property, which is valued at $75,000, “everything (inside) is ruined.”
That includes all of the new clothes Miller’s 11-year-old daughter, Mahley, received for Christmas.
“Pretty much everything she asked for was clothes, but they are destroyed by smoke,” Shepherd said. “All we have left now is God and our family and friends.”
Neighbor Cindy Alley began taking up donations for the family immediately after firefighters tamed the blaze.
“We’ve gotten a storage unit for them,” she said.
Alley said she’s already received clothing and furniture for the couple.
“There is one lady that has offered them a completely furnished house to stay in,” she said. “It’s amazing how the community steps up.”
Raina Goble, Mahley’s second cousin, said she’s already collected a TV, couch, kitchen table with chairs, bath towels and washcloths and a washing machine.
“They need everything, they lost everything,” she said. “Anything we can do, anything that anybody can do is greatly appreciated.”
Goble said people can drop off donations for the family at Shear Blessings Salon, 6930 Faith Road, Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. She can be reached at the salon by calling 704-279-6100
She said she has already received a lot of clothing, so bigger items and gift cards would be more helpful.
Alley will continue taking up donation as well. She can be reached at
She said people can also drop off small items at Alley’s Restaurant at 303 S. Main St. in China Grove.
One thing Miller and Shepherd won’t be able to replace is their mini pinscher Triumph, who perished in the fire.
“That’s been the hardest thing, losing her dog” Patsy Shepherd, Kari’s mother, said Thursday. “He was like a baby to her.”
Kari Shepherd said the loss of Triumph has been tough on the entire family.
“(Mahley’s) mom brought her out here Wednesday and she said she was crying and trying to yell for Triumph,” she said. “She was hoping he would come out.”
The couple spent part of the day Thursday looking through the house for sentimental items such as photos.
“We got maybe one picture out of the whole house,” Miller said. “It’s all rubble.
“I don’t know why we keep coming back, but it’s home.”
Miller said he’s thankful no one was home when the fire broke out.
“It’s bad, but it could have been a lot worse,” he said.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.