SILAS, Ala. (WTOK) - Leon and Wendy Giles are still fighting back tears five days after a fire destroyed everything they own.
“All my daughter’s baby pictures, my wedding ring, quilts and ornaments that his mom and grandmother made that neither one of them are with us,” said Wendy Giles.
The fire happened Monday while Leon was running an errand and his wife was at work. When Leon returned home, flames were shooting through the roof of his home.
“When I got back here, the fire was coming out of the attic and the front porch was completely engulfed in flames,” said Leon Giles.
The couple's two dogs managed to escape, but five frightened puppies stayed inside and hid from the flames. Leon tried save the animals, but the flames, smoke and heat were just too powerful. The five puppies, which were Christmas gifts for some in the Silas community, died in the fire.
“I came back out and the two adult dogs were in the yard, but I couldn’t find the puppies,” said Leon.
This isn't the first challenge the Giles family has had to deal with. Leon was diagnosed with liver failure and has had more than a dozen strokes.
“I’ve got the most important things with me which are my daughters, my grandkids, and my husband. Along with my family and friends standing beside me,” said Wendy.
Members of the community are helping. Nehemiah Ministries in nearby Butler has rented temporary shelter for the Giles until they find a permanent home.
“You know in all this chaos, not knowing where you’re going and then someone come up and say, ‘yea you got a place to stay’, that was wonderful,” said Leon.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. You can donate to the Giles family by clicking the GoFundMe link.