A fire Sunday destroyed everything for a local family of six, but didn't take away its hope for the future.
Benjamin, who is 20, is the legal guardian for his five younger sisters, ranging in age from 19 to 1. He has been the head of the family for almost a year now.
Things were already tough for the family, but then the fire took away their home and belongings, even the baby's toys.
Benjamin had just gone to a friend's house behind his own home on Edgerton Street.
"I got a phone call and the first thing the person said was, "Where are you?'" he said. "I'm like, 'I'm at my friend's house.' They were in Fairview and told me my house was on fire.
"I instantly came right outside. The firetrucks were where our parking lot was. At that moment, I didn't know if my sisters made it out or if anybody was still in the house."
As Benjamin rounded the corner, he saw four of his sisters standing outside, but not the baby. He found out she was with someone else and had not been at the home when it caught fire.
"It was a good feeling knowing that everybody made it out safely," Benjamin said.
"Then it dawned on me that my house just burned down with everything in it. You always hear about something like this happening to somebody else, but when it actually happens to you, it's a different feeling."
Benjamin was mad at first. As the days go by it gets a little easier, but it's always in the back of his mind.
The first time he went back to the house after the fire, it became real to him.
"We lost a lot of food," he said. "It was just food stamp day and we lost everything in the refrigerator."
But he did find his and his sister's high school diplomas undamaged by the fire, along with a photograph of his late grandmother, to whom he was very close.
"The TVs looked like they still worked, but when we plugged them in, they didn't," Benjamin said.
And the worst part -- Benjamin had to go to work that night at 10 p.m. at Case Farms.
"I'm dealing with chickens all day, and the fire was the only thing I could think about. When I'm at work, I'm ready to go home, then that night I was like, 'Dang, I don't have a home to go to,'" he said.
The American Red Cross came to the aid of the family right after the fire, giving them assistance with a place to stay for a few nights, food and clothing.
The family also got some clothing from the Salvation Army.
Benjamin said he has some relatives here and some in Virginia.
"But our life is here," he said. "This is what we're used to."
He is not yet sure what the family's plan is for the immediate future.
"If I could answer that question, I would," Benjamin said. "But I have no answers right now."
And Benjamin is more concerned about getting clothing and other items for his younger sisters than he is with getting clothes for himself.
"As long as they're all right, I'm good," he said.
"We're still having feelings and thoughts about the fire. But I feel like it's gotten us closer. On the bright side, we're together."
His family means everything to Benjamin. They're all he has.
The family's ages and sizes are:
Benjamin, 20, 32/32 pants, medium shirt
Lamya, 16, women's size 5 pants, small blouse
Honesty, 10, size 10/12 clothes, size 3 shoes
Lynziah, 4, size 5/6 clothes, size 11 shoes
Some infant-sized clothing was lost also.
Wish list for the children: Board games, baby dolls, infant toys, toys, playing cards, UNO cards.
The family will also need furniture to replace what was lost.
Anyone wanting to donate funds to help the family stay at Country Inn and Suites until they can find a permanent home can take it to the hotel.
They have a microwave at the hotel, so any microwaveable food would help, too.
"We appreciate anything we can get," Benjamin said.
Anyone wanting to donate other items to the family can contact the Wayne County chapter of the American Red Cross at 919-735-7201.