The story of a family of four in Hendersonville, N.C. who lost everything they had in a fire tugged at the heart of Captain Tim Griffin of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office that he decided to help them out in his own small way. He wanted to put a little smile to the family’s faces especially to six-year-old Damon, who was sad about his Batman costume lost in the fire.
The family had been living in an RV after they moved out of their home of 5-years due to problem neighbors. They didn’t have a lot to begin with. Cayce Burroughs and her fiancé had initially planned on starting a handyman service and the tools were in the RV when it got burned.
Edneyville Fire and Rescue Chief Robert Griffin said a space heater caused the fire. Luckily, the family was not home when it happened. Burroughs said she took Damon to school and when they came back the RV was already on fire.
“We had to leave our home of 5-plus years because of problem neighbors. Not having anywhere to go we have been staying in a RV beside Mom’s which was not big enough for all of us so Austin, Blake and Cole have been staying with their dad during the week and with us on the weekends so I am missing them all the time … This morning while taking Damon to school the RV caught on fire and was gone with everything in it. So where do we go from here?” Burroughs wrote on Facebook.
The tragedy affected Captain Griffin who was first on the scene and heard Damon talk about his Batman costume. The whole situation affected him since the family lost everything.
“I’ve seen so much bad in my career and I love kids, and it just struck me that this little boy, all he was worrying about was having his Batman costume burn up,” Captain Griffin told Yahoo.
That’s when he decided to replace his lost Batman costume complete with a utility belt. Chief Griffin said he was there when the captain gave the suit to Damon, whose face lit up and was so excited that he wore it right away.
“He was obviously really excited, and so was I. I said we need all the little Batmans we can get, to help us do our sheriff’s duties. So I told him you get that thing on because we need your help out here,” Captain Griffin said.
Aside from the Batman costume, Chief Griffin also set up a GoFundMe page, his first, for the family to help them with finances since they didn’t have insurance. He also asked for donations of shoes, clothing, and diapers. Griffin said Burroughs was hesitant to ask for help but he thought it was a desperate situation that calls for desperate measures.
Captain Griffin’s plea for help reached the Red Cross, who has offered the family a place to stay for a few days. Burroughs said she doesn’t know where her family would sleep next but she is sure of one thing, and that’s Damon is happy and “extremely excited” that he gets to wear his Batman costume for Halloween.
It’s these small things that can make someone’s day special. A little help goes a long way.
In early December Wichita police Officer Chad Spaulding called 911 when he saw a home was on fire in a south Wichita mobile home park. He has since helped the family by personally donating to them in many ways including soliciting his own family members for breast milk to feed Zayden.