BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A fireman finds himself on the wrong end of a fire fight. His home burned to the ground this week. Now, his community's trying to help.
You can still smell the smoke even three days after Charles Drew's home went up in flames, but this Sunny Point firefighter is not alone. Those around him are raising money to help the man who's job is to save lives.
Very little remains of the Drew household. The house caught fire Monday afternoon, when Charles's wife Stephanie left a pan of grease on the stove.
"She was cleaning antiques in the shop, put it on the stove and forgot about it," Drew said. "When I saw the smoke coming out of the house, I tried to put it out."
The flames were too much, even for this veteran firefighter. Drew said he tried to save what he could, but the fire quickly spread.
"I can't explain it when you lose everything," Drew said. "That's 30 to 40 years of stuff you can't replace."
Drew is currently in South Carolina with family members, who are trying to help him as much as they can. Meanwhile in Brunswick County his coworkers at the Sunny Point Military Terminal are raising funds to help the 25-year veteran. They're holding a cook-out is being held Friday so those on base can help out Drew.
The public can help out as well by mailing any donations to the Sunny Point Fire Department in Southport. The fundraising efforts brought a smile to Drew's grandson who's still emotional about what happened.
"I hate it for him," Madison Drew said. "When I found out, I got all upset. It's like my gosh my grandpa just lost his own house."
As for Drew, he's staying strong and is thankful for people who are willing to return that helping hand.
"You just do what you can do, and I appreciate anything anyone does for me cause I would do the same for them," Drew said.
Donations to help Charles Drew and his family can be sent to:
Sunny Point Fire & Rescue
6280 Sunny Point Road
Southport, NC 28461