By Erica Thomas, managing editor
CLAY — A beloved couple in Clay that is known for helping others now needs help themselves. Reba and Carl Shaneyfelt’s home was badly damaged in a fire on Jan. 7, 2021.
No one was hurt but the damage left behind is extensive in their kitchen and living room, and the couple did not have insurance. A family member set up a GoFundMe account to help raise funds to rebuild. All of the kitchen appliances were destroyed in the fire, including the stove, refrigerator and sink. The cabinets were also lost in the fire as well as 50% of the insulation. The furniture in the home will have to be replaced because of smoke damage and all of the electric will have to be rewired, according to family.
“Nana and Papa, as they are affectionately known in the community, have been married for 58 years and both have a heart of gold,” the GoFundMe account reads. “Carl spent 24 years in the Army National Guard while Nana is retired from her construction job and spent many years taking care of elderly people in the community.”
The Shaneyfelt’s grandson’s fiance, Mallory Barnett started the GoFundMe account. She said the fire started when Reba was cooking lunch for Carl. She said oil got too hot and bubbled over onto the stove then exploded all over the oven and surrounding spaces. Barnett said the couple is known for giving back to others.
“Without having a lot, they have managed to always take care of others,” said Barnett. “They raised daughters and grandchildren, have opened their home to two foster children and hosted five different exchange students over the years. Whenever there was a relative in need or a friend of one of their children who needed a place to land, they opened their doors. No questions asked, just wanted to be there to help and make sure you felt taken care of and safe.”
The couple has lived in the home for over 30 years. To help out the Shaneyfelts, you can donate to the GoFundMe account at https://gf.me/v/c/q3vg/help-reba-and-carl-shaneyfelt-rebuild-after-fire.
There will also be a cleanup day on Feb. 27, at the home located at 6422 Telia Drive, Pinson, AL 35126. Cleanup will begin at 9 a.m.
“We have arranged for a dumpster,” Barnett explained. “But trash bags, masks, gloves, work shoes, and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty are required.”