AUGUSTA, Ga. – Christmas decorations line the outside of the Bell family’s home along Old Savannah Road, but the mood is anything but festive.
This was supposed to be their first Christmas in their new home after living in a hotel for four months.
“A year ago, we were in a hotel and we had just got back on our feet and we fought so hard to get back on our feet and it just got taken away,” Mother Keandra Bell said.
A fire started in the kitchen, consuming the home and burning up everything they own.
“It was like a movie. We didn’t know what to do,” Bell said. “It got out of control. We got the whole family out of the house. We made sure there were no kids or animals left anywhere and we called 9-1-1, and just watched it burn down.”
In the blink of an eye, Bell, her husband, and their six kids needed a place to stay.
“A lot of hotels don’t accept us because we’re such a big family,” Bell said.
They finally got a room at a hotel in Augusta, staying in a room with one bed for $100 a night. Bell posted on Facebook asking for help in any way shape or form, and the responses have been overwhelming.
“We have had a great amount of donations from the city, from different states. It’s been tremendous,” Bell said.
The Bells live by the motto: stay humble and keep the faith. And they say, their kids give them the energy to keep pushing.
“Seeing them. Knowing that we made it out safe and they’re here with us today. Some people don’t have their kids with them. We’re just blessed that we got out and all of them together. We’ve always been a family together,” Bell said.