Mother, 12 children lose everything in fire

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

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BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. —

A Butts County family came home from church Sunday to find their entire house burned to the ground -- now the community is rallying to replace what was lost.

Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh went to Butts County Monday, where the community is rallying behind the family who lost so much.

Lisa Murphy says no one is prepared to lose everything. Now she is faced with the daunting task of rebuilding the home where she was raising 12 kids on her own.

Murphy has been in shock since she got a phone call at her church Sunday afternoon.

"She said, 'Don't panic, but your house is on fire.' And I said 'What are you talking about?' And she said, 'No really Lisa, you need to come here right away,'" Murphy told Kavanaugh. "He got somebody to bring me over there and I thought, 'it can't be bad.'"

She arrived to long line of fire trucks. Fire had torn through the walls and everything she owned. A charred frame is all that's left.

Murphy raised her three birth children, 10 adopted children and 4 grandchildren at the home. Twelve of them, ages 2-20, still lived at the home.

Murphy does it on her own. Four years ago she lost her husband to cancer.

"Yesterday I just stood here and I really tried to figure out what I was doing," Murphy said. "I've never done anything like this."

Murphy spent Monday sorting the debris and talking to insurance agents, putting one foot in front of the other.

Fortunately, the community is already stepping up making donations, including the trailer they're now living in. But the family needs financial donations so they can begin to rebuild.

It seems an impossible task, but Murphy says she now has to focus on what she has not what she lost.

"My kids are all safe so if it had happened at night I couldn't have gotten them out," she said. "I'm just really grateful we were all (in) church and it was daytime."

Information about contributing to the Murphy Family House Fire Relief Fund

You can also see a list of items needed on the Murphy family’s Facebook page.