LINCOLN COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — Sylvester Stevens got up in the early Monday morning and headed to what he thought would be an ordinary workday – driving a school bus for Lincoln County High School.
Stephens said, “I got over on Mud River, and another bus driver hollered and told me he didn’t want to alarm me, but my house was on fire, and all my kids were outside. He said he thought they all got out.”
Rushing home, he found it engulfed in flames. Fortunately, his wife Mona – and their 6 children – made it out safely. Their 6-month-old puppy, Lily, did not.
But this isn’t just a story about the loss of the family home. Sylvester and Mona have been fostering children in what is now a burned-out shell since 1995.
“We’ve had 125 plus kids in our home, but we foster to adopt and we adopted eight and we have five that still live with us,” said Stephens.
Their efforts are known throughout the community – and people were visiting and calling all morning and afternoon to express their condolences – and to offer help.
“They’re just a typical family like most of us are, out working, and trying to make a living, and take care of their family and you know gets up to go to work and tragedy hits and they loose their home and eveything in it, it could happen to any of us.”Lonnie Wilson, Family Friend
And the way Stephens see’s it, everyone making it out safe was what mattered the most. “My daughter said what are we gunna do, Dad? I said, honey, we can replace that house.”
The family is now seeking help from the Red Cross, and the community.
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