Fundraising effort underway for victims of Church St. fire

A fundraising campaign to help the family whose home in the Sumter downtown historic district was severely damaged by fire last week has been established by relatives and friends.

Fire engulfed the home of Marc and Helen Harry in the 100 block of Church Street around 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, ripping through all the floors of the century-old wooden home, gutting the residence.

While firefighters from the Sumter Fire Department’s headquarters station, approximately four blocks from the downtown home, arrived quickly, the severity of the fire required responders to battle the blaze for nearly an hour before it could be declared under control, and is clearly inhabitable at this time.

None of the people living in the home were injured in the fires, however several of the family pets perished and one of the owner’s vehicles was also severely damaged.

According to the Sumter Fire Department, an estimated $450,000 in damages to the home and its contents were caused by the fire. An exact cause of the fire has not been disclosed, however fire investigators have said the fire began in a first-floor room of the home.

According to the folks establishing the GoFundMe account, which can be found here, the owners, who first purchased the home in September, hope to restore the home to its previous status, but are aware this could take months.

The fundraising effort hopes to raise $25,000 to assist the Harry family financially.  As of Sunday afternoon, the account had more than $3,000 in pledges.

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