BOLLINGER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Two Bollinger County families are without homes in what's an odd and very unfortunate coincidence.
A fire destroyed one woman's home in Glenallen on Sunday, then on Monday her brother's home caught fire in Marble Hill.
Both fires were within just a few miles of each other and less than 24 hours apart.
The Marble Hill fire chief says both fires are considered accidental, just an ironic tragedy. Now, the siblings, both with young children, say they're trying to figure out where to go next.
"I stood and I froze. I just froze right here," Tara Lomax said.
Lomax says she still can't believe what's left of her home is mostly ashes.
"It's horrible. I wouldn't wish this on anybody," Lomax said.
Her father, who lives next door, was the first to see the fire.
"The smoke was boiling out of the trailer and we thought the grandkids and daughter were in there," David Shipley Sr. said.
Thankfully, they weren't home, but before the shock could sink in, there was another hit to the same family.
"I told my wife and kids to get the kids out," David Shipley said.
Shipley is Tara's brother. His home caught on fire 20 hours after his sister's.
"My house went out of my mind for a minute and I've been trying to help them as much as I can," Lomax said.
The family members are trying to help each other through a tough time that only they can truly understand what each other are going through.
"Work 65 hours a week for nothing," Shipley said.
But, they say, others have helped too,
"Somebody offered to go to Ruler Foods and buy some food," Lomax said.
"Clothes and diapers and stuff for the kids," Shipley said.
"It was overwhelming," Lomax said.
They still have a long road ahead, but are glad their families are safe.
"There's the bible right there," Lomax said.
And, they're thankful for the little things, in the midst of the ashes.
"It should have burnt because it was right there where mainly all the fire was," Lomax said. "That's a sign for something."
If you'd like to donate to the two families, you can go to any US Bank and give to the "Shipley Relief Fund." The donations will be split evenly among both families.
There is also a benefit scheduled for them at the Perryville Eagles Club on January 30. There will be food, music, and an auction.