Rebuilding family’s ruined home after fire

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OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City woman is pulling the community together to help a neighbor get back into their home by Christmas

It was destroyed by a fire last Tuesday on the 4500 block of S.W. 24th St.

Walking through debris, Joenita Rhodes and her 3-year-old adopted son, Kiev, see scorched pictures, baby blankets.

It's all that's left of their home after it was destroyed by the fire.

"It's really hard to see it now because I got married in this back yard; I started my family here," Rhodes said.

The fire started in the laundry room when the dryer exploded.

The flames destroyed at least half of the home.

All Rhodes, her husband and son could do was watch fire fighters tried to save the home.

It was a sad sight for neighbor, Amy Mayen, who said the family is always helping others.

They helped her fix up her home when she moved next door eight years ago and they were always willing to help friends and family in need of a place to stay.

With Rhodes' home destroyed, those people also face homelessness again.

So Mayen's mission is to get the Rhodes back into their home with the help of the community.

Posters hang on the burnt out home asking for lumber to rebuild.

"Love thy neighbor, I really didn't know what that meant until I moved here," Mayen said. "I know we can get this house rebuilt and get Kiev back home for Christmas."

Mayen said a roofer has already come forward to help patch the holes, and Rhodes' husband's boss is lending them a trailer to live in until their home is ready.

"That makes my heart just, it melts because I mean I love these people," Rhodes said. "I want to come home."

 Now when she looks at her charred home, she has a hopeful heart.

The Rhodes did have insurance, although the family said it looks like they are only going to pay for some of the damage.

For now, Mayen said she needs the help of construction companies or anyone with spare lumber. 

To learn more about the Rhodes's story or to see how you can help, click here

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