Daycare reaches out to family devastated by fatal fire

By Brandi Cummings - bio | email

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A community is brought together to raise money and to collect donations for a Lexington family who lost everything in a fire.

Two children and their dad died in Sunday's blaze. Now the daycare where the toddlers were enrolled is leading the effort to get the family back on their feet.

It was a devastating phone call. "I just started screaming," said Cuddly Care Director Diana Steele.

She expressed having a hard time accepting what she was told. "I just stood there in shock," she said, "I couldn't believe what I had just heard."

Steele found out Sunday that toddlers Almata and Harvey Jones along with their father were killed in a house fire. It happened while their mother Regina Gaines and their four sisters watched helplessly. "The father was able to help get all the girls out, and dad went back in to get the boys, and they never made it out alive," said Steele.

Steele knew the family first hand. The toddlers were enrolled at Cuddly Care. The girls had been enrolled when they were younger, so the tragedy hit close to home. "It's something you don't want to ever happen to any family," she stated.

The family lost everything. Now Steele and Cuddly Care co-owner Tonja Lincoln are doing all they can to help them replace what fire took. "With it being so close to us, I could not sit back and just not do anything," said Lincoln.

The duo is raising money and collecting things for the family because the need is great. "Diapers, wipes," said Steele, "She could use towels, wash rags, toilet paper, paper towels, your household kitchen stuff. Anything you'd need if you were moving into a new home. Furniture, beds, cribs. They have none of that right now"

"What do you do when there's no homeowner's insurance, there's no life insurance and your life had fallen completely apart?" asked Lincoln.

For the two women, the answer to that question is simple: do all you can to help put the pieces back together.

Funeral arrangements for Almata Jones, little Harvey Jones and their father have been set. The three will be buried Saturday at 1:00pm at Chapel Hill Baptist Church in North.

If you would like to help the family, you can do so by looking at the information below.

-Cuddly Care

1240 South Lake Drive

Lexington, SC 29073


-Benefit Fund Set up:

Gaines/Jones Benefit @ any Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union

-Benefit Motorcycle Ride:

February 26

No time or location set yet

-Financial Contributions can be made to - Regina Gaines c/o Corner Panty Corp Office, 1001 Idlewilde Blvd, Columbia, SC 29201 803-254-4806 (Office Number)

Toiletries – Of all kinds

All Household Items and appliances

Gift Cards – Grocery Stores/Restaurant or clothing

Clothing: 28 or 4 x (grandmother) 9 ½ shoes, underwear size 11

Regina – 18w and XL top, underwear 9  shoes 10

Girls sizes 24 months and size 5 toddler shoes size 5 diaper

Gilrs clothing for children – Size 10, Size 8, Size 7

Girls Shoes – 12, 13 and size 1

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.