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Fire displaces Blue Springs family, a day before high school graduation ceremony

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 23:33:21-04

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — The day before Amaya Whitley graduated from Blue Springs High School, a fire broke out at her home.

"It was a question like, why us? Why right now?" Whitley said. "You like see it on TV, and you see it everywhere, and then you'd never think it's going to happen to you."

The flames destroyed the laundry closet and left plenty of damage — more than $150,000 worth of it.

"We were just devastated," Francina Whitley, Amaya's mother said. "Everything was torn up."

It's a tough situation for the single mom of four.

"It's going to be difficult, you know, me doing this on my own, putting her through school, and so now this is just a major setback to making that happen," Francina Whitley said.

While the fire didn't destroy some furniture like the couch in the living room, the smell of smoke is still overwhelming more than a week later.

The family has been told that it will take at least three months to get the home habitable again.

"And so she would never ask for help. But talking to her, I could see the worry, I could hear the worry," Takedria "Dee" Mingo-Berry, a family friend, said. "And so I reached out hoping just to spread the word of her need."

Mingo-Berry created a GoFundMe with the hope that the community can lend a helping hand.

"The smallest actions go the longest ways," Mingo-Berry said. "I truly believe that many hands make light work, you know. And that's the that's what I believe. And so any just people doing what they can, when they can."