Woman loses all when house catches fire

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 12, 2009

NATCHEZ — When Andrea Blackmon Newman lost her home to a fire, she lost a lot more than four walls and a roof.

In 1995, her mother renovated a former slave quarters on State Park Road into a home for Newman. Dying of cancer, Newman’s mother wanted to leave a home for her daughter, a way of taking care of her for the future.

“I didn’t feel like I needed to lock the doors out there, because I felt like my mother had her arms wrapped around me,” Newman said.

Email newsletter signup

On Thursday, a power surge caught the cedar and pine house on fire, and it was destroyed.

The Natchez Fire Department does not inspect fires in the county, and by the time firefighters responded, the house had burned down.

Newman said she was surprised at how quickly her house was destroyed.

“I left my house for 30 minutes, and when I got back, it was down to the ground,” Newman said.

Now Newman, her two sons, daughter-in-law, three grandchildren and boyfriend are without a home.

“That was my sense of security, and I have none now,” Newman said. “I’ve always had my own house; I’ve never been in this situation.”

And she said she’s lost her hospitable ability.

“I always gave (my family) a place to live and food in their belly. I offered a home to anybody who didn’t have a place,” she said. “Now I can’t hardly help myself.”

The seven other people who were living in that home have all scattered across the Miss-Lou to be taken in by relatives and friends.

Newman said she’s also lost her sense of family and togetherness now that she no longer has the ability to provide a home for her loved ones.

Everything that was in her house was also lost.

“We came out with the clothes on our back,” she said.

She said she is thankful that no one was home when the blaze was ignited and no one was hurt.

Though she’s lost her belongings, her home and her sense of security, Newman said hopefully she’ll be back on her feet again.

“People say that when God closes a door, He opens a window,” Newman said.