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Out of the Ashes: Community Helps Family Rebuild After Tragedy [Video]



Quick Smiles:

  • Samantha Reynolds and her family lost their home and their grandmother, Eva, in a tragic fire accident. They found themselves homeless and in desperate need of support.
  • After their story aired on local news, their community, including Josiah’s employer and Ashley HomeStore, rallied to provide help. Ashley HomeStore generously offered $4,500 to furnish their new home, a gift that tremendously eased their transition.
  • A GoFundMe campaign has raised over $20,000 for the family, which will cover Eva’s final expenses and help them rebuild their lives. The love, support, and generosity shown by the community have been instrumental in their healing process.

Life is filled with moments of love and support, often most palpable during the darkest of times.

Such was the experience of Samantha Reynolds and her family after a devastating incident transformed their lives.

On February 3rd, while Samantha was at work in Novi, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, she received the harrowing news that the mobile home she shared with her family was ablaze.

Tragically, her ailing grandmother, Eva Reynolds, was critically injured in the incident.

Eva, an 80-year-old in hospice care for congestive heart and kidney failure, had inadvertently triggered an explosion by lighting a cigarette near her oxygen tank, leading to a massive fire.

Samantha’s partner, Josiah Simmons, who was at home with two of their children and Eva, heroically carried Eva out of the burning room.


His quick thinking helped get everyone, including their pets, to safety.

Tragedy deepened when Eva succumbed to her injuries two days later, leaving the family heartbroken and homeless, their lives upended in unimaginable ways.

Yet, in their hour of need, their community rallied to their side.

After a local news channel aired their story, Josiah’s employer provided them with a new place to live.

But moving in was a hollow victory, with no furniture or belongings to fill the empty space.

Then came an unexpected boon from Ashley HomeStore: an extraordinarily generous offer of $4,500 to furnish their new home!


Ashley HomeStore, as part of the Detroit community, felt it was their duty to assist during such a tragedy.

“We are part of a community here in Detroit, and anytime a tragedy strikes any of our members here, it affects us in the store, it affects us as a company, and we’ll do anything we could to reach out and help a little bit,” a representative from the company stated.

Their generosity allowed Samantha and her family to furnish their home and shift their focus to other necessities like bills, clothing, and daily essentials.

Furthermore, community members showered the family with donations of everything from clothing to diapers.

A GoFundMe page established for the family has surpassed $20,000, a portion of which will go towards Eva’s final expenses.

More than the financial aid, the outpouring of love and support has been a balm for the grieving family.


“Strangers we have never met trying to help in any way they can is so heartwarming. It’s mending my broken heart. It sounds sappy, but it really is the truth,” Samantha confessed.

In life’s darkest hours, it’s heartening to see how communities can rally around those in need, offering solace and assistance.

Our thoughts are with Samantha and her family as they rebuild their lives after this tragedy.