Neighbors rally around Fort Mill family displaced by pre-Christmas house fire

joverman@fortmilltimes.comDecember 28, 2012 

  • Want to help? Shoes and coats can be dropped off at 910 Hickory Stick in Fort Mill. (Leave it at the garage). Cash or gift cards should be left at 922 Hickory Stick. Items are needed in the following sizes for the children: • Women’s size 61/2 shoes. • Women’s or kid’s size 5 shoes. • Girls size 21/2 shoes. • Coats are needed for each child. • Shoes and clothing are also needed for both adults in the home, women’s shoes size 71/2 and men’s size 8.

— Neighbors are rallying around a Fort Mill family whose home was destroyed by fire Thursday – just five days before Christmas.

No one was injured, but the home at 880 Hickory Stick Drive in The Enclave At Regent Park neighborhood is “pretty much a total loss,” said Flint Hill Fire Chief David Jennings, whose department was first on the scene.

The front of the home looks intact, though the roof is caved in, but “if you could see it from the back you could see a whole lot more,” Jennings said.

The property is owned by Ashley and Mark Schemine, according to York County tax documents. A cell phone message was left for Ashley Schemine, but it was not returned by press time. The family is staying with neighbors.

With Christmas just a few days away, the family, which lost nearly everything in their home except for the cellphone, had to buy new Christmas gifts for their three daughters. The fire consumed gifts already purchased, along with the family’s clothing.

Neighbors collected donations of cash and gift cards to help the family purchase the gifts as well as buy new clothes and other necessities.

“It’s too soon to tell what they will need,” said neighbor Carol Ritchie, “But I don’t think there is a single thing left in the house.”

Three fire departments were dispatched to the subdivision about 3 p.m. They battled the blaze for more than two hours, and evacuated at one point because the roof was about to fall in.

Neighbors said the family was home when the oldest daughter noticed flames in the kitchen pantry. They grabbed the dog and ran out of the house.

“It’s so sad this happened at Christmas. They’re big Christmas people,” said neighbor and friend Jackie Wagner. “Thank God it didn’t happen at night and everybody’s alive.”

York County fire officials were still investigating Friday the cause of the fire and assessing the damage.

Fort Mill Times Editor Michael Harrison and Herald reporter Anna Douglas contributed to this story.

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