Heather Walker escaped safely when fire broke out at her boyfriend’s house on New Year’s Eve in 2011.
One year to the day later, Walker was staying at her boyfriend’s house when fire struck again -- this time, at the Mint Hill mobile home where she and her three children lived.
The home, in the 4100 block of Rivendell Lane, was destroyed in a Monday morning blaze that authorities say was caused by electrical problems.
Walker and her children, one of whom just finished treatment for leukemia, lost everything.
“All that’s left are a few pictures and one of the cats,” Walker said at midday Monday, and she looked over the ruins of the mobile home.
One of the family’s cats died in the blaze. The other, Fluff ‘n Stuff, survived. “She’s blind,” Walker said with a smile. “Isn’t that amazing.”
Walker and her children were not in the home when fire broke out before dawn because there was only an old baseboard heating system.
“It was a really cold night, so we stayed elsewhere,” she said.
Walker said a friend gave her the mobile home, because the family was struggling financially. “We were having a tough time, especially after the medical treatment,” she said, referring to her 19-year-old daughter’s illness. “This home was really old.”
Mint Hill fire officials say the blaze broke out in the rear of the residence.
A neighbor told her he heard a sound like firecrackers about 5:45 a.m. The man looked out and saw smoke pouring from the mobile home. The residence was heavily involved in smoke and flames when Mint Hill firefighters arrived.
“I guess it’s lucky we weren’t here,” Walker said.
For the time being, she and her children -- 19-year-old and 14-year-old girls, and a 7-year-old boy -- will stay with family. Walker had no insurance.
“We’ve got a lot of friends,” she said. “The American Red Cross is helping get us settled, and we’ll work hard to get back.”