Woman's house destroyed by fire days after her parents killed in - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Woman's house destroyed by fire days after her parents killed in wreck

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John Le

CANDLER, N.C. -- A Buncombe County family suffers yet another setback just a week following the crash that killed Roger and Judy Rector. Saturday morning, fire gutted daughter Gwen Goldthwaite's home on Bradshaw Circle in Candler which only adds to the sadness.

"I'm devastated, crushed, angry," Gwen told News 13. "I don't know how much more I can take."

"It's hard to be strong anymore," she said.

As she deals with the aftermath of the fire, the suspect in the crash that killed her parents is charged with DWI and death by vehicle. The wreck happened on Garren Creek Road in Fairview. Judy died at the scene. Meanwhile, Roger was taken off life support on Thursday.

Making matters even worse, Gwen's dog Rosco died in his sleep of apparent smoke inhalation.

"He stayed by my side while I was at home cause he knew something was wrong," she said. "I can get another dog but it'll never be the same thing."

With so many pent up emotions, sometimes it helps to have a place to call home. But sadly, there's no shelter from what life will bring.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the family's funeral expenses.

The American Red Cross has stepped up with clothes and has made temporary lodging arrangements for them.

Gwen lost a lot of sentimental items, including the wallet that belonged to her late father.

"I had it put up in the house so nothing would happen to it, I was wrong," she told us. "But you know pictures my kids made me, pictures of my grandparents. Things are replaceable but there's some stuff that is irreplaceable."

The morning the fire broke out, she decided to go to work with her husband in stead of staying at home.

"If I had stuck to my original plan I'd have been laying right there," she says, pointing to what's left of her bedroom. "I'm still going through the motions from last week, I'm on auto pilot."

Gwen's brother Roger Rector Jr. says loved ones means more than ever.

"I already thought it was the worst week and then this fire happened and add to it," said Roger, Jr. "Just feel really numb right now."

The home's family history goes back decades.

"See we moved in 2014. I took care of my grandmother, she passed away here," she says, wiping away tears that speak to a week of profound sadness.

"Whether it's everything you own or whether it's a family member or friend you don't know what's gonna happen tomorrow," Gwen said.

Click here to help pay for the Rectors' medical and funeral expenses. Hominy Baptist Church is also taking donations. Donors must type in the Goldthwaite family name to make sure the family gets it.


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