Sharon and Elijah Oliphant’s house caught fire on a Saturday night last month. The couple and their 5 and 3-year-old daughters ran out of the house without shoes or phones.
Elijah said the fire started when his electric bike battery exploded.
“It just splattered sparks all over the walls and they just stuck,” he said. “Almost like honey was flung on the walls, and the flames stuck there.”
Sharon said that Elijah, who is visually impaired, recently bought the bike because he didn’t want her to have to drive him to work.
“Everything’s in there,” he said. “I don’t even have work clothes tomorrow and I have to go to work.”
Elijah’s sister and mother picked up the kids. They lived just a few blocks away. During the chaos, a neighbor had offered to walk over and tell them about the fire.
When the home stopped smoking and the firefighters were gone, the couple went inside to salvage what they could. They found their phones, some important documents, Elijah’s scorched work clothes and their daughter Collette’s “Big Bunny.” Without it she can’t sleep.
“It’s just stuff, it’s just stuff, it’s just stuff,” Sharon kept reminding herself.