Family Receives Outpouring Of Community Support After Fire

Family Receives Outpouring Of Community Support After Fire
Jeff Martins is pictured with Burley Oak's Bryan Brushmiller. Burley Oak was one of several local entities that hosted fundraisers for the Martins family after a fire.

SNOW HILL– A local family expressed gratitude for the community’s outpouring of support in the wake of a devastating fire.

In March, Newark couple Jeff and Jacki Martins lost their home of 30 years in a house fire. Jeff Martins said this week the various fundraisers organized by friends, neighbors and coworkers have been a huge help to the family during a difficult time.

“The money will be put to use for expenses, anything the insurance isn’t going to cover,” Jeff Martins said. “The main thing to us is not the amount of money but the fact that we have that many friends here on the shore.”

On March 29, fire companies responded to Croppers Island Road for a house fire. Crews spent more than four hours on the scene bringing the fire, which was determined to be accidental, under control. About 20 animals, dogs and cats the Martins family had rescued, died in the fire.

Within a day of the tragedy, neighbors had set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family. Fundraisers were also set up by coworkers and friends. In Berlin, Burley Oak Brewing Company’s Bryan Brushmiller wasted no time in setting up an event for the family. The Monday night event raised more than $3,000.

“Jeff Martins has been a customer since the day we opened and when I heard about his house fire we all immediately put together an event to help one of the nicest customers we’ve had the privilege to serve,” Brushmiller said.

He added that Burley Oak regularly hosted fundraisers for nonprofits and local causes.

“The charity events that Burley Oak has done for the last 12 years are extremely important to me, not only to raise money but to raise awareness for those in need in our community,” Brushmiller said.

For the Martins family, the money raised and donated in recent months has helped them deal with the loss of everything they owned. Though they’ve been staying with friends, they’re still looking for a place to rent while they rebuild. Jeff Martins said the response from the community has been uplifting.

“It’s overwhelming, the response we’ve gotten,” Martins said.